M&C Saatchi announces Moray MacLennan as next group CEO alongside Gareth Davis as Independent Chairman

– UK, London –  M&C Saatchi plc (LON: SAA) today announced that the Executive Chairman, Jeremy Sinclair, CEO, David Kershaw and Executive Director, Bill Muirhead, have informed the Board that they wish to step down from the Board and leave the Company, handing over the business to new leadership as it enters its next chapter.

Consequently, the company announced that Gareth Davis, currently Non-Executive Deputy Chairman, will become Independent Non-Executive Chairman following the close of the annual general meeting which will take place after the publication of the 2019 Audited Results and at which Jeremy Sinclair will step down from the Board.

The Board will appoint Moray MacLennan, currently CEO Worldwide, to succeed David Kershaw, who will step down by the end of the year, as next CEO. Moray will take up his role and join the Board on 1 January 2021, following a comprehensive handover process and on completion of customary AIM director diligence requirements.

Over the last year, the board of directors has been focused on strengthening the governance and operational controls, ensuring the business successfully navigates the Covid-19 pandemic and has the right strategy and structure to take advantage of the growth opportunities it sees in its markets.

Significant progress has been made in all of these areas. In the first quarter of 2020, four new independent Non-Executive Directors were appointed to the Board. The Company has a new finance team, improved financial and accounting systems and compliance rules, and a simplified group structure.

Following the implementation of these changes, the Board will comprise the following Directors:

  • Gareth Davis, Independent Non-Executive Chairman
  • Moray MacLennan, Chief Executive Officer
  • Mickey Kalifa, Chief Financial Officer
  • Lisa Gordon, Senior Independent Director
  • Louise Jackson, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Remuneration Committee
  • Colin Jones, Independent Non-Executive Director, Chair Audit Committee

Jeremy Sinclair, David Kershaw and Bill Muirhead commented: “We are immensely proud of the Company and all the people and all the clients who have allowed us to do some great work. The entrepreneurial M&C Saatchi spirit has created a diverse global organisation which has more than met our hopes. We have spent this last year replacing ourselves, re-examining the strategy and importantly re-building the Board. That having been done, it is time for us to make a graceful exit, although we plan to remain shareholders.

“We are confident that our successors will succeed and lead the Company we founded 25 years ago to greater heights.”

Gareth Davis, Deputy Chairman, commented: “I very much look forward to being Chairman during what, I’m sure, will be an exciting and successful future. We have navigated our way through our recent problems and the enduring strength of the business, founded and developed by Jeremy, David and Bill, will serve us well in the future.

“The Board is in no doubt that Moray will be an outstanding successor to David. He has the experience, strategic vision and proven leadership qualities to ensure M&C Saatchi thrives into the future.”

Moray MacLennan, Chief Executive Designate, commented: “I would like to thank our founders Jeremy, Bill and David for their inspiration and support over many years. Much has been learnt over the past 12 months and I believe M&C Saatchi is stronger and wiser coming out of 2020. The Company has benefitted from the guidance of a strong, independent Board and following the conclusion of a strategic review of our business and markets, I look forward to sharing our plans for future growth at the capital markets day in January.”

For more information: https://mcsaatchi.com/

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