So long: Kevin Roberts out at Saatchi & Saatchi
August 3, 2016
That didn’t take long.
Less than a week after Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Kevin Roberts made controversial comments about women in advertising during an interview with Business Insider, he’s on his way out.
Roberts will finish out the month and be done.
Saatchi & Saatchi parent company Publicis Group had suspended Roberts just hours after Friday’s interview, in which Roberts said advertising has achieved gender balance, declaring any debate about it “f***ing over.”
He further said that his agency had offered promotions to women only to be turned down because they want to stay where the real work is being done and had no interest managing people.
Backlash over comments
As you’d expect, people were not happy with the comments from one of Publics’ senior managers, who has been with the parent company for two decades. He was eviscerated on social media.
Roberts had been slated to retire next spring, but it made sense to move that date up.
He released a statement to The New York Times saying: “”Fail Fast, Fix Fast, Learn Fast’ is a leadership maxim I advocate. When discussing with Business Insider evolving career priorities and new ways of work/life integration, I failed exceptionally fast. My miscommunication on a number of points has caused upset and offense, and for this I am sorry.”
However, he did not recant the remarks.
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