Saatchi’s U.K. Chief Daley Departs

NEW YORK Lee Daley, chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi’s U.K. Group since 2004, is leaving to become commercial director at the iconic Manchester United soccer club, the agency confirmed.

Daley, who could not immediately be reached, joined the Publicis Groupe shop in October 2004 and started several new ventures as CEO, including Industry@Saatchi, a research and development think-tank for clients looking to launch new brands. He was based in London.

“Lee has put in place a management team, structure and vision that positions Saatchi & Saatchi London perfectly to help existing and potential clients meet the demands of the ever-changing and fragmented world of communications,” said Jim O’Mahony, Saatchi’s CEO for operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“In the last two years, I have had the privilege to work with some of the most visionary, talented and creative minds in the business,” said Daley, in a statement. “I will be very sad to leave Saatchi & Saatchi later this year.” Daley is expected to start his new job in April.

Before Saatchi, Daley was co-CEO and chief strategy officer of WPP Group’s Red Cell, where he spent about three years. Earlier in his career, he was chief strategy officer at Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in Europe.

It was not immediately clear who would absorb Daley’s duties, at least for the time being, while the agency seeks a successor.