To expand and clarify upon tipsters’ quotes from earlier this week, we’ve received confirmation from sources familiar with the matter say that the agency has cut approximately three percent of staff ACROSS network–not just in San Francisco–including a couple of creatives. From what we’ve been told, this is part of the Omnicom-owned agency’s CEO David Shulman‘s assessment of talent based on, you guessed it, client needs. But, on a positive note, our sources add that Organic is hiring, and if you recall, has brought on staffers including CSO Monik Sanghvi, appointed Audrey Melofchik as New York GM and of course, most recently, has welcomed Digitas alum Sarah Montague in the same latter role in San Francisco.
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It took a couple of weeks, but as per usual, our sources were spot-on as Organic has confirmed that Sarah Montague has taken over as SVP/general manager of its San Francisco office. Montague essentially replaces Alle Aufderhaar, who left for the client side a few months ago. The new Organic SF GM arrives from Digitas, where she spent the last two years as SVP/marketing, first in Chicago on Kraft and Kaiser Permanente before helping open the latter agency’s Bay Area branch, where she helped secure digital AOR duties for the likes of eBay and Taco Bell.
Now at Organic SF, Montague will not only oversee staff as is expected, but a client roster that includes Nike, Quaker and Nature’s Way. During her career, the exec also had a stint at SVP/group management director at Draftfcb, where she handled CRM/multi-channel efforts for VW.
Details are still hazy on this one, but word from sources in the know is that Sarah Montague, who’s spent the last two years serving as SVP, marketing at Digitas, is assuming the role of managing director at Organic San Francisco. The latter, Omnicom-owned agency is keeping schtum on the matter for now, but Montague’s impending arrival ends a two-month search for Organic SF, which has been without an MD/GM since Alle Aufderhaar decided to go client-side.
As for Montague, during her two years at Digitas, first in Chicago, then in San Francisco, the exec headed up marketing efforts for the agency’s Kraft and Kaiser Permanente accounts. Prior to Digitas, she spent 15 months as SVP/group management director at Draftfcb on CRM and multi-channel efforts for Volkswagen. We’ll fill in the details when we get them.
With eight-year agency vet Joe DiMeglio getting bumped up to EVP/chief client officer two months ago, Omnicom-owned agency Organic has looked within and found his successor in Katie Healey, who has spent the last two years as SVP/group account director at Team Detroit. Healey, who now takes over as SVP/general manager of Organic’s Detroit office, will oversee its Motor City-based accounts including Volkswagen, Kimberly-Clark and Hilton.
This move marks Healey’s second tour of duty at Organic, where she last served as something called “engagement manager” (or group director in layman’s speak). During her career, Healey has also served on the account side at the likes of Digitas Detroit and Campbell-Ewald.
It seems like Organic CEO David Shulman has been a busy man these days. Just weeks after bringing back Monik Sanghvi to serve as the Omnicom-owned agency’s chief strategy officer and appointing Audrey Melofchik as GM of its New York office, the CEO is now on the hunt for a new GM of Organic’s SF branch. Why? Well, because Alle Aufderhaar, who joined Organic in said role in 2010 after lengthy stints at the likes of Digitas, is leaving the agency to go client-side.
In the meantime, sources familiar with the matter tell us that while Shulman talks to candidates now–though, there’s no rush as “he wants to make the right choice”–CFO Tina Weber will be interim GM for San Fran and chief client officer Joe DiMeglio will oversee portfolio of clients based out of San Francisco.
Well, Organic’s answered our question from 10 days ago as the Omnicom agency has indeed found a replacement for Amy McAllister, who served as general manager of its New York office before splitting for JPMorgan Chase. Taking over for McAllister in NY is Audrey Melofchik, who’s been with Organic for nearly two years and most recently served as SVP/engagement management.
Along with Melofchik’s appointment, Organic has welcomed back Monik Sanghvi (pictured) to serve as its chief strategy officer. The Detroit-based exec originally worked at the agency over a decade ago as group director, strategic services before assuming senior-level positions at the likes of Digitas and Team Detroit. Staying in Detroit for a minute, Joe DiMeglio, who took over for James Heughens as SVP/general manager of Organic’s Motor City office nearly a year ago, has been promoted to chief client officer.
That’s the question we’ve asked to those in the know this morning, but have yet to hear back about. In the meantime, as spies have mentioned, Amy McAllister has left her post as SVP/general manager of Organic’s New York for a gig as executive director, digital marketing group at the former bailout beneficiary that is JP Morgan Chase. Anyhow, McAllister spent three years in all at Organic, succeeding Minna Rhee back in 2010 after spending two years at O&M and ten years before that at Digitas, where she last served as SVP/marketing.
As noted above, we put in inquiries about immediate plans to replace McAllister, who’s not the only senior-level exec to leave Organic as of late. Recently, Drew Meyers split from Organic’s SF office, where he served as client services/engagement management lead, to assume the role of president at gyro SF and lead the agency alongside ECD, Steffan Postaer. Of course, Meyers, who’s also served on the digital account and/or management side at MRM/McCann and Publicis West during his career, spent just 10 months at Organic. Anyhow, we’ll fill you in if and when replacements for both aforementioned execs are found.
Maybe you’ve heard the news, but while we anxiously await Turkey Day, let us sound like a broken record and tell you that Organic has finally found a replacement for chief creative officer, Conor Brady, who parted ways with Organic over the summer and headed to Huge. The Omnicom-owned Organic has tapped David Bryant, former Google creative strategist and not to mention Publicis as well as StrawberryFrog ECD, digital (remember this?), to serve as its new chief creative officer.
Along with Bryant, Organic has appointed former Digitas SVP, talent acquisition and retention , Mark Murata (who spent just over a year at said agency), as its chief talent officer.
And so, the management shifts at Organic continue. Following the departure of CCO Conor Brady last month and the changing of the guards at the CEO position last week, the Omnicom agency has confirmed that Steve Kerho is soon leaving the ranks. Kerho has been with Organic for the last four years, working out of the L.A. office and serving as SVP/analytics, media and marketing optimization. An agency spokesperson tells us, “Steve has been a tireless leader on Organic’s executive management team since 2008, and we thank him for his contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Sources familiar with the matter add that Kerho’s last day at Organic is August 3 and he is leaving the agency business for a publishing-side opportunity in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Organic, Kerho worked in media/planning/strategy on the client side for automakers including Nissan and Mazda.
We can call this foreshadowing, but on June 29, a tipster told us, “Marita Scarfi‘s days are numbered at Organic.” Well, let’s fast-forward a few weeks to present day and tell you that the Omnicom-owned digital agency (which also lost its CCO recently) basically realized this comment and has indeed appointed a new CEO in David Shulman. A few months ago, we reported on Shulman’s departure from Wunderman, where he spent two years as president. During that time, we were told he was taking a “lead global position,” so…voila. Schulman will officially assume his new chief exec role at Organic on August 1.
As you’d expect, BBDO Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertston (Organic is a part of said agency) gushes about the new hire, saying in a statement, “He is a leader, an innovator, a business builder, and he is great with clients. He built Digitas in Detroit into a 200-person operation. He co-founded a software development firm in Ukraine, and in his time at Wunderman, he reorganized its operations, attracted new talent, deepened existing client relationships and landed new business, most recently, the global digital agency of record for Levi’s. I first met him last year and I am delighted that we have persuaded him to join.”
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