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WPP associate Landor announces top-level change

SAN FRANCISCO, California: Current Landor Associates chairman and CEO Clay Timon announced his intention to move into a full-time chairman role as of 1 May 2003. Landor is a division of Young & Rubicam, Inc, which is part of WPP - one of the world's leading global communications services groups.

In order to ensure a smooth management changeover, the 59-year old Timon will remain chairman until 31 December 2003, says an official press release. He has led Landor - the leading global brand strategy and design firm - since December 1993.

In keeping with a long-standing succession plan, Craig Branigan, 51, Landor's current president and COO will assume the role of CEO and then chairman, effective 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2003 respectively - adds the release.

"This is an exciting day for Landor as we execute a plan that has been carefully anticipated since Craig was hired in 1996," Timon was quoted as saying in a release. "He is the right person to lead Landor to the next phase of its growth - he will build on the company's commitment to helping clients transform their businesses through disciplined brand strategy and powerful design."

Landor's core strategic direction under Branigan will remain focused on building its competitive advantage through long-term client relationships, integrated global services and a balanced approach to branding strategy and design.

"Clay has been a remarkable leader for Landor and has transformed the way we partner with our clients and think about our business," Branigan was quoted as saying. "In the last 10 years, Landor has transitioned from operating as a largely project-driven firm to its current model, which is based on building deep and lasting relationships with our clients.

"This philosophy has helped Landor build a stronger, more stable business in a challenging economic environment by enhancing our value to our clients," Branigan continued. "It has enabled Landor to transcend the role of traditional brand consultant - we work hard to be our clients' strategic business partners."

Landor's client-centered approach also empowered Timon to direct change throughout the organization itself, including driving revenue growth, extending the firm's global presence and expanding its services. Some of Landor's key milestones in the last 10 years include:

- a compounded annual revenue growth rate of 15 per cent;

- an increase from 15 per cent to 51 per cent in revenue generated by Landor's top 10 clients;

- office openings in established and emerging markets around the world, including Hamburg, Seattle, Cincinnati, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Chicago, as well as a strategic alliance with LKS in Sydney;

- the evolution of a holistic approach to corporate and consumer branding, founded on Landor's expertise in:

- design

- strategy

- implementation

- digital applications

- environmental branding

- research

- naming and writing

As chairman through the end of 2003, Timon will continue to pursue business development and maintain Landor's relationships within the Young & Rubicam and WPP networks. He will also focus on Landor's ongoing client relationships with companies such as Accenture, BP, FedEx, Ford, Frito-Lay, HP, Microsoft and Procter & Gamble.

"Craig has a deep understanding of Landor's business and powerful insight into clients' needs," a release quoted Timon as saying. "He is the right leader to grow our existing relationships as well as build new ones across industries and within the Y&R Inc. and WPP networks."

Addressing Landor's directors at its biannual Board meeting in London last week, Branigan outlined a vision for Landor that builds on the firm's strengths and forges into new areas of development. He identified the four cornerstones of his vision as:

- One Landor - a totally integrated company with both global capabilities and local insight;

- the balanced application of strategic rigor and world-class creativity to empower brands and drive business transformation;

- continued expansion into new and emerging markets;

- Brand Engagement - building "from the brand out" to create bottom-line results by infusing the brand throughout every aspect of an organization.

Landor Associates is a leading global brand strategy and design consultancy. Founded by industry pioneer Walter Landor in 1941, it has a rich heritage of brand strategy and design leadership.

With more than 20 offices in 16 countries, Landor has an unrivaled client portfolio and has created brands for organizations such as Frito-Lay, BP, Procter & Gamble, FedEx, NYSE (The New York Stock Exchange), Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, France Telecom, Pfizer, Ford, HP, Bradesco Bank, Accenture and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Nagano and Salt Lake City.

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