Saatchi & Saatchi becomes Cordiant

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The Independent Online
Shareholders of Saatchi & Saatchi, the struggling international advertising agency founded by Saatchi brothers Maurice and Charles, voted yesterday to change the name of the company to Cordiant and to introduce new performance incentives to make senior management more accountable.

The company also confirmed that it would defend a writ for libel brought by Bill Muirhead, former head of Saatchi's US operations, against what is now Cordiant and some of its subsid- iaries.

Charlie Scott, the group chief executive, said the name change was necessary to give operating companies "greater freedom to establish their own identities and remove the confusion that has arisen between the holding company and one of our major operating businesses".

Analysts pointed out that the change also allows the publicly quoted holding company to distance itself from former chairman Maurice Saatchi, who is locked in a legal battle with his former company and has set up a rival agency with former Saatchi executives.