Rapp has parachuted Marco Scognamiglio into the role of global chief executive following the resignation of Alexei Orlov, just hours after the agency’s lawyers defended him as a victim of “outrageous allegations” in the lawsuit which has rocked the business.
Scognamiglio, who is currently president of Rapp EMEA and APAC, as well as executive vice-president of global clients, becomes acting CEO, with immediate effective.
He has the unenviable job of repairing the damage inflicted on the agency following the lawsuit initiated by former US president Greg Andersen, who accused Orlov of being a “destructive” force amid allegations of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.
In response, the agency’s lawyers dismissed the accusations as baseless, insisting that Andersen’s firing was completely legal. Interestingly, the agency’s statement about Orlov’s exit includes no mention of the lawsuit and portrays the outgoing chief in a positive light.
Dale Adams, chairman and CEO of Omnicom’s DAS group of companies, said: “Under the leadership of Alexei Orlov, Rapp has become a united global brand with a defining strategy and a point of differentiation in the marketplace. This strategy has led to more diverse and award-winning work, greater client retention and growth, and an impressive record of new business wins.”
Orlov, who joined Rapp from Volkswagen in June 2014, told staff of his decision in an internal email. He later issued a statement, which said: “I am very proud that Rapp has grown in terms of clients and scope of work, which is a testament to our incredible talent. Marco and I have worked closely across a number of initiatives these past two years and Rapp is in good hands.”
Scognamiglio has spent more than 16 years with the agency, joining from Proximity London in 1999 as client director. He was promoted to managing director of the agency’s Edinburgh office two years later but returned in 2004 to head up the London business as managing director: he was promoted to CEO of Rapp UK in 2009..
Last year, he was promoted once more, to build the Rapp network in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Scognamiglio said: “Our company is on a great trajectory. We will remain laser-focused on our talent, driving results for clients and maintaining the strategic success of Rapp.”
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