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Wright shifted to chairman role at Lowe as Gatfield takes over

LONDON - Tony Wright has been shifted from his role of chief executive of Lowe Worldwide to that of chairman, as Interpublic parachutes in Stephen Gatfield to take over the troubled agency as CEO.

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Wright will report to Gatfield when the pair take up their new roles in March. Gatfield was previously an executive vice-president of Interpublic Group in charge of global communications, and was a one-time chief operating officer of Leo Burnett. He is reported to be a close associate of Michael Roth, chief executive of Interpublic, to whom he will report.

Roth said: "We've been consistent and clear in stating that we must have a premier creative resource in our portfolio -- a space in which Lowe does and should continue to excel.

"In just a year, Tony has made significant strides in sharpening the agency's product. Steve brings a unique set of skills to his new post."

After a bruising year, in which Lowe lost international Unilever accounts as well as the £45m Tesco business in London, Roth indicated that the agency was looking overseas for growth, as well as working more closely with other Interpublic agencies.

Of Gatfield he said: "His in-depth knowledge of international markets, particularly in Asia, makes him the right choice to continue leading our initiatives in the key growth Brazil, Russia, India and China markets."

Gatfield will remain Interpublic's executive vice-president of network operations, the role he was promoted to last December.

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