Boardroom guns fall silent over Saatchi & Saatchi

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The Independent Online
SAATCHI & SAATCHI, the advertising group, yesterday announced a ceasefire in the boardroom war between Maurice Saatchi, the chairman, and Charles Scott, chief executive, writes John Murray.

The group released an extraordinary statement affirming that the board had decided, after consultation with shareholders, clients and employees, that both men would remain in their present roles. The move follows mounting speculation that one of them would have to leave the group, and was seen as an attempt to paper over the gap between them.

But Richard Sanderson, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: 'The problem is there has been a running battle between the two factions for some time. There has obviously been some sort of standoff, but I am sceptical that the in-fighting will just suddenly stop after this announcement.'

The argument between the two men has centred around Mr Scott's running of the business, with Mr Saatchi blaming him for ineffectual cost-cutting and a failure to boost revenues. But City observers say Mr Scott and his predecessor, Robert Louis Dreyfus, saved Saatchi from ruin.

The company also said yesterday that the board had decided to recruit a senior advertising and marketing executive whose role would be to guide and direct revenue development.

(Photograph omitted)

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