Neil McKay, the chief executive of Lakestar McCann, has left the search marketing agency with immediate effect.

McKay has been in the role since Lakestar Media was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012 for what market observers suggested was likely to be an eight-figure sum.

The 42-year-old had originally joined the business in 2008, a year after it was set up by current head of sales Demetrious Loizou, having previously been group commercial officer for Bigmouthmedia (now DigitasLBi) and UK MD for Global Media GmbH.

Prolific North understands he is leaving before the end of the three-year earnout period that was put in place following the McCann deal.


Neil McKay

Lakestar McCann will now be led by Sharon Palmer, currently head of media at UM Manchester, McCann Manchester’s media planning and buying operation.

A statement from McCann said she will now also be responsible for “bringing the two businesses together to deliver a fully integrated digital media business”.

Sue Little, chief executive of McCann Manchester, said: “Neil and his team have built a successful business and we thank him for his contribution since 2012. As we move forward, the integration of the two businesses will deliver enhanced career opportunities for staff and a best in class service offering for our clients.”

We’ve so far been unsuccessful in our attempts to speak to McKay.

Lakestar McCann’s current clients include Halfords, Kuoni and Navman Wireless.