According to Chet Burchett, president and CEO of the U.S., “This was not an easy step, and it was made only after careful consideration of our options. But in the end, Sun was a major relationship with a large dedicated staff. We have adjusted the structure of the practice to reflect this change, and growth in other areas of the business allowed us to reassign most of the staff.”
About 60 people worked on the Sun business.
In a memo to staff, Burchett sounded an optimistic note. “While this is not the easiest of times, we are managing the business effectively and continuing to win new business at a pace that exceeds last year. While we will be conscientious in managing costs, our emphasis must remain on growing the agency—something each and every one of you can support through a singular focus on adding value to our clients and our company.”
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide also announced a second round of layoffs, despite picking up a significant chunk of the Sun business. The firm laid off 24 staff in New York. The cuts reportedly included personnel in all practice areas.
Investor relations powerhouse Morgen-Walke Associates, owned by Cordiant, was the third major firm to announce layoffs last week. It let go 35 people, or about 20 percent of its workforce. The cuts were mostly at the junior and middle levels, and including professionals in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Dallas. At the same time, the firm’s 15 managing directors each took a 10 percent pay cut.