The Ogilvy Group has fired Worldwide Chief Creative Officer & Co-Chairman at Ogilvy & Mather, Tham Khai Meng, following employee complaints regarding unspecified violations of company policy and subsequent investigation into his behavior. The development was announced by John Seifert, CEO, The Ogilvy Group, in an internal memo.
Meng had held the role at the agency since 2009. He’s long been the company’s creative spokesperson, an industry thought leader who appeared regularly and prominently at advertising conferences around the globe. He also led Ogilvy to win Network of the Year at Cannes five times in a row, from 2012 to 2016.
Stating that he was informed of employee complaints two weeks prior, Seifert in his memo said, "After carefully reviewing the investigation's findings with several of my partners, we concluded that Khai's behavior was a clear breach of our company values and code of conduct. I have decided to terminate Khai's employment with the company with immediate effect."
Over the last six months, a handful of agency leaders have lost their jobs due to misconduct, including Droga5’s former chief creative officer Ted Royer and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell.
The full memo written by Seifert:
"Two weeks ago, I was informed of employee complaints regarding the behavior of Tham Khai Meng, Chief Creative Officer of The Ogilvy Group.
I found these complaints serious enough to appoint external legal counsel to investigate the matter.
After carefully reviewing the investigation’s findings with several of my partners, we concluded that Khai’s behavior was a clear breach of our company values and code of conduct. I have decided to terminate Khai’s employment with the company with immediate effect.
Each year, we ask every employee in the company to read, authorize, and fully commit to a code of conduct that each of us is responsible for living up to. Over the past 70 years, we have institutionalized shared values and a standard of professional behavior unique to the Ogilvy brand.
This is an important moment to reaffirm that no individual in this company is too senior or too important not to be held accountable for their actions.
Thank you for your support."