Interpublic Group of Cos.' media buying and planning firm Universal McCann is searching for a new leader after moving current CEO Robin Kent into a role working on "special Interpublic media projects," according to the company.
Chief Operating Officer Murray Dudgeon will fill in for Kent as CEO on an interim basis, a company statement said.
Kent had been Chairman-CEO since 2002 and has been with the agency since 1996. He held senior regional positions in Europe before ascending to the top spot.
Last year, McCann lost more than $400 million in billings after Nestle's global consolidation. But last week it scored a major victory when McCann Worldgroup picked up Intel's $300 million ad and media business.
A spokeswoman declined to describe what the specifics of Kent's new position would be, but the move is believed to have been engineered by McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO John Dooner.
One of the scenarios being considered is to create an entity to oversee Universal McCann and Interpublic's other media network, Initiative. Universal McCann, in particular, has been plagued by major client losses.
Said Dooner in a release: "Robin will work with me on special Interpublic media projects. Murray will oversee UM's operations and ensure continued media excellence."