Five months after Bill Muirhead took over the troubled North American operations of Saatchi & Saatchi, heads are beginning to roll. On June 2, Muirhead dismissed Harvey Hoffenberg, creative chief of the British advertising agency's New York office. Another senior executive, Richard Pounder, quickly resigned.
With Hoffenberg gone, say agency insiders, Muirhead can get on with overhauling a shop that has suffered from a dearth of new business and a lackluster creative reputation. He has organized a task force that will conduct a top-to-bottom study of the agency. And he has appointed Stanley Becker, 59, a popular Saatchi veteran who currently oversees its Toyota Motor account, to restore morale in New York and lead the search for a replacement for Hoffenberg.
One thing that the Australian-born Muirhead has not done, however, is to force European-born management on Saat-chi's U.S. executives. Although he used to run Saatchi's European operations and has said he would like the New York office to function more like its London sister, Muirhead is relying so far on homegrown talent--such as Becker--to implement his changes.