COMMENT: Is the resignation of Randall Weisenburger further fallout from the collapsed Omnicom/Publicis merger?

Weisenburger has stepped down from his post as Omincom finance chief after a 16 year tenure, but only five months after the Group’s collapsed merger with Publicis.

Weisenburger was seen by many as the natural successor to John Wren, CEO of Omnicom Group for the last 15 years. Weisenburger’s position as CFO was also cited as a major contributor to the merger’s breakdown, with Publicis reportedly unhappy with OMC providing both the head of finance and head of legal in the merged company.   Weisenburger’s departure may well be evidence of continued fallout from the failed merger.  When stakeholders have gambled so much on the completion of a transaction, it’s often incredibly hard to return to ‘business as usual’ and in the aftermath, simmering tensions can easily boil over.

Does this now make Andrew Robertson, CEO of BBDO Worldwide, the natural successor to Wren?  He is the likely choice in our view, but may not be seen as having the Wall Street credentials that Weisenburger had. Time will tell…