UPDATE 2-J Walter Thompson CEO quits after being accused of slurs

jueves 17 de marzo de 2016 17:23 GYT

(Recasts first paragraph, adds comments, adds details on lawsuit plaintiff's paid leave)

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - The chief executive of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency resigned on Thursday, one week after a female subordinate accused him in a lawsuit of racist and sexist behavior.

WPP Plc, the British parent of JWT, said Gustavo Martinez resigned "by mutual agreement" following "recent events," and that his resignation was "in the best interest" of the agency.

Martinez's departure came after chief communications officer Erin Johnson accused him in a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court of making "constant racist and sexist slurs" that demeaned women, blacks and Jews, and subjecting her to unwanted touching.

Johnson was put on paid leave last month, after JWT had curbed her pay and duties in retaliation for her complaints about Martinez, according to the March 10 lawsuit.

WPP declined to elaborate further on the resignation. A WPP spokesman said Johnson's lawyers requested her paid leave, and JWT accommodated that request.

Anne Vladeck, a lawyer for Johnson, did not respond to requests for comment.

Tamara Ingram, who was WPP's chief client team officer, is replacing Martinez, effective immediately. Her former job will be taken by George Rogers, who will remain WPP's global business development director.   Continuación...