Reinher Behrens’ three-year tenure as CEO of McCann WorldGroup SA officially ends this weekend after he turned down the option of redeployment within the group.
Behrens was recently at the centre of a dispute with black economic empowerment shareholders, who accused the communications group’s management of using them as a black “front”, and threatened to quit. McCann has lost a number of key personnel in recent months, including the MD, creative director and strategy director of its advertising agency, McCann Erickson.
McCann Africa region chairman Fraser Lamb, who will assume the CEO role for now, says Behrens was offered a new role involving “key strategic initiatives and expansion plans”.
Behrens, however, says he prefers to take up other opportunities in the advertising and communications industry. He is currently on holiday with his family and says he will take his time before deciding what to do next.
Despite the events leading up to his departure, he says he is proud of the group’s achievements while he was in charge. These included three consecutive years of increased profits; re-energisation of the Africa network; launching the McCann Healthcare division; and improved creative performance.