Jon Sharpe abruptly resigned as head of European operations for WPP’s newly minted agency VMLY&R amid what the agency termed was a “disciplinary process” that included on ongoing investigation prompted by employee complaints.
Sharpe had been suspended as the probe played out.
Details of the complaints were not disclosed.
The agency issued this statement: “Jon Sharpe has resigned from VMLY&R during the course of a disciplinary process and while suspended from the company. Following reports received from employees, a formal investigation was launched using external counsel. As a business, we have procedures to ensure people can speak up in confidence and to protect the anonymity of those who raise concerns we will not provide further details.”
Sharpe has reportedly denied any misconduct, but opted to resign from the agency.
Sharpe was hired by VML in October 2017 as CEO Europe (effective January 2018) and then tapped to run European operations when VML and Y&R merged earlier this fall.
Before joining VML, Sharpe was CEO at sibling agency Y&R London, where he was credited with revitalizing the agency and leading it to a number of new business wins, including Chanel No5, Premier League, Lombard Odier and others.
Sharpe also installed a new management team and oversaw the agency’s rebrand from RKCR/Y&R to Y&R London.