On Saatchi’s Chess Board: Roberts Moves Bishop

Worldwide CEO to Name U.K. Chairman to New International Post
NEW YORK–Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide chief executive Kevin Roberts will soon name Alan Bishop, chairman of Saatchi in the U.K., to the new post of chairman international. At the same time, Roberts intends to spend more time in London jump-starting that office, which has stumbled recently.
Bishop, 44, will be charged with winning assignments from existing global clients, luring new worldwide business and growing the $7 billion network through acquisitions.
The moves come shortly after the London office lost the $30 million U.K. National Lottery account and was forced to defend a portion of its Visa business. Saatchi’s London office embodies the agency’s creative heritage and, as such, is expected to play a lead role in Roberts’ mission to transform Saatchi into the “hottest ideas shop on the planet.”
Worldwide creative director Bob Isherwood is also expected to visit London more frequently, sources said.
Roberts and Bishop could not be reached.
The creation of an international chairman, sources said, jibes with Robert’s stated strategy to grow Saatchi via existing global clients. Bishop, who previously was based in New York as chairman of North America, is familiar with the agency’s largest clients and known for his new business skills. “Alan is ideally suited for this job,” one source said.
The personnel shift further reflects Roberts’ aggressive management style. Since becoming CEO in May 1997, he has made numerous moves, including the installation of Scott Gilbert as chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles and Leonard Pearlstein as chief executive of Team One Advertising, and taking over management of the Procter & Gamble account.
The latest moves are not expected to affect Saatchi’s North American operations, overseen by Jennifer Laing, who also serves as president of Saatchi in New York, sources said.
Bishop’s U.K. chairman’s job will remain vacant for the time being, sources said, and may not be filled at all since the office is managed on a day-to-day basis by joint chief executive officers Adam Crozier and Tamara Ingram. –with Hank Kim