In a move certain to rock the Los Angeles public relations community, Richard W. Taylor, one of the most powerful public relations executives in Los Angeles, abruptly resigned as president and chief executive of Rogers & Cowan Inc.
The agency is the largest public relations firm in Los Angeles.
Taylor is being replaced by Thomas A. Tardio, 38, who has been the firm's executive vice president and head of its domestic and international entertainment operations. Tardio was originally hired by Taylor in 1988 as the agency's chief financial officer.
In an interview, Taylor, 44, declined to state his reason for leaving the agency he joined 11 years ago. "I'm looking at three or four other job possibilities," said Taylor, who noted that one job prospect is with a film studio. He declined to say if any of the job prospects are at public relations firms.
Meanwhile, Tardio said he planned no immediate changes--including layoffs--at the agency. "We'll stick to what got us here today," he said. But he further noted, "We're constantly looking at the economic realities of our business."
Taylor and executives from Rogers & Cowan say Taylor's departure was mutually agreed upon.
But top public relations executives say increased financial pressures at the British-owned firm has made some executives there unhappy. Shandwick PLC, the world's largest public relations firm, purchased Rogers & Cowan in 1987, and since has applied pressure to cut costs.
During a recent restructuring of the Los Angeles office, a few people were laid off. The office now employs about 120.
Rogers & Cowan may be best known for its entertainment division, which handles public relations for Sylvester Stallone, Paul Newman, Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis.