Starcom UK set for major restructure

LONDON - Starcom UK Group is to undergo a major restructure, axing senior roles in its traditional media buying division to pave the way for a refocus on its digital operations.

The move by chief executive Linda Smith, less than a year after her arrival, will see more resources pumped into Starcom Digital, alongside a major investment in new data management staff and systems. Job losses have not been ruled out.

The changes see John Davidson, currently TV buying director for Starcom MediaVest; become UK group TV buying director. Chris Williams, Starcom's TV buying director, has been offered two other roles, although it is not known if he has accepted either.

Neil Allen, who joined as Starcom MediaVest press director from Mediaedge:cia this summer, has been promoted to UK trading director of press, while Adrian Pike stays in his role as Starcom press director.

Within Starcom digital, digital director Nigel Sheldon takes up the role of strategic planning director for digital, while head of direct Andrew Smith becomes head of operations. Digital and direct operations are now housed in the same department.

John Baylon, TV group director, becomes a digital account director at Starcom Digital, although Adrian Carpenter will continue running the BT TV buying business.

Smith revealed that Starcom's worldwide digital operations were lined up for major investment, with a global Starcom Digital network a possibility. She said: "I've been here for ten months now and I'm looking at how we create more diversified services. Behind these changes are the need for growth and investment in certain areas. I'm not denying that there will be roles at risk. Change is always difficult."

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