Tim Castree, the Long-Time MediaVest USA COO is leaving the agency, the Publicis Groupe shop has confirmed.
As COO, Castree has been tasked with overseeing some of the agency’s biggest global clients including Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s and Microsoft. In April Microsoft decided to shift its $1 billion-plus media assignment to Dentsu Aegis Network and Interpublic after a formal review.
How closely related Castree’s departure is to the Microsoft loss was not immediately clear, although the decision to leave was his. Some agency sources indicated that top Starcom MediaVest Group officials weren’t thrilled with him after the Microsoft loss—essentially faulting him, fairly or unfairly, because he managed the business.
But others noted that Castree had made it known well before the Microsoft decision that after six years in the COO seat he intended to move on to try something new. Sources also said that Castree is widely admired and respected throughout the agency.
The shop is set to disclose the departure to staffers later today at a “town hall” meeting to discuss ongoing agency affairs. The meeting was set a while ago and Castree’s departure has been added to the agenda.
A MediaVest spokesman said that Castree’s “contributions to our company have been significant, and we wish him the best for all that the future holds.”
A successor has not yet been named to replace Castree.
Castree has been in the COO post since 2008. Before that he was CEO at sibling agency Leo Burnett Australia. Earlier, he held roles at George Patterson Partners and BBH.