Lori Senecal is becoming a popular name among female leaders today. She has set herself as the go-to person for companies going through critical transition periods. She is also described as an effective leader with a steely countenance and a long record of success.
However, her seemingly perfect life is not free of controversy, as is the case with many CEOs, as she was once embroiled in a law-suit with McCann Erickson.
Breach of Contract?
Lori Senecal’s legal battle with McCann Erickson began in 2009 sometime after she quit her post as the company’s President and CEO. The company viewed her departure with suspicion. For starters, she made a base salary of $500,000 and had a total compensation of over $1 million. What’s more, she was required to give a 3-month notice before quitting, which she did not, reports Ad Age.
According to McCann Erickson, Senecal signed a contract detailing one-year non-solicitation, non-compete, and non-disclosure terms. The company also accused Senecal of breaching these terms by recruiting its employees and luring away some of its clients during her capacity as CEO of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners (KBS).
McCann Erickson accused Lori Senecal of recruiting its chief of brand growth and innovation David Jenkins. She is also accused of luring away two of the company’s top executives: chief technology strategist Faris Yakob and chief growth officer Matt Weis. Other employees who deceivingly quit McCann Erickson under Lori Senecal’s behest are Amy Hefti and Kathleen Kehoe.
Lori Senecal was also accused of stealing McCann Erickson’s long-time client Weight watchers in addition to other agencies. She is accused to have used her capacity as the company’s CEO and President to lure Weight Watchers away. In fact, McCann Erickson alleged that she introduced its clients to KBS and MDC while she was still working for it.
McCann Erickson also accused Senecal of revealing its business models and ideas to KBS and MDC. It goes further to allege that some of those business models were developed in conjunction with KBS while Lori was still working for the former.
A Fierce Defense
KBS and MDC were fierce in defending themselves against McCann Erickson’s accusations. Lori Senecal, however, chose to remain silent about the controversy throughout much of the hearing. However, McCann Erickson was persistent in its lawsuit.
KBS and MDC had refused to a settlement offer by McCann Erickson at first. However, the latter company eventually had its way and the former two companies were compelled to desist from hiring the said employees or soliciting McCann Erickson’s clients.