From a spokesperson:
Michal Pasternak announced that, after ten years at the agency, this will be her last week at Huge. She hasn’t said what she’s going to do next, but she is stepping aside to be able to do more thought leadership in the industry and figure out her next big professional challenge.
We’re super excited that we have a team of Huge veterans who will continue to run the UX team in NY: Josh Payton, who’s been at Huge since 2007, will be returning to Brooklyn from Huge London to lead the Experience Design team. He’ll do so in partnership with Emily Wengert, who oversees the UX Strategy team. Sophie Kleber is also taking on a leadership role in product strategy and innovation as part of our Business Strategy team.
In other words, Huge will operate as before with a few staffing changes–and Pasternak will almost certainly continue to play a large role in the industry.
Here’s her full email announcing the move:
Nearly 10 years ago when I started at Huge, I never imagined that the tiny 10-person digital shop would grow to become the 700-person powerhouse it is today. I never imagined I would get the opportunities I’ve had: to work on spectacular accounts from JetBlue and IKEA in the early days to Amex, TED and NYC.gov this past year; to design experiences for children, baby boomers, C-Level executives, and Brooklyn hipsters; to build our first user research team, our first content strategy team, and to found Huge UX School; to pioneer our first rapid iterative research and design process, to speak about UX in China; to disrupt the life insurance industry forever in Springfield, Mass; to travel to our dynamic and growing offices around the world to forge and strengthen our global network; and to collaborate with the smartest and most talented collection of people I’ve ever encountered.
Through all of that, one thing has really stuck with me: Huge is a place of endless opportunity. We get to work with amazing people to solve the biggest and hardest problems out there – and redefine digital time and time again while doing it. We get to work side-by-side with ambitious clients who want to change the game and know who to tap to get it done. We get to make products and experiences that are used by millions of people every day.
I believe that life starts at the edge of your comfort zone. It’s easy to feel comfortable. It’s much harder to continue to push yourself, to take bold risks, and to evolve. That’s what we do for our clients every single day. And that’s what I believe we owe to ourselves and what I owe to myself. I’m beyond excited about the challenges that lay before me. I plan to continue to redefine and push the boundaries of User Experience. I envision users of the world spending more time doing things they enjoy with people they love, and less time being frustrated by ill-considered, poorly designed experiences. And I want to inspire the next generation of UX strategists and designers to keep doing it better.
So now it’s time for me to take my next leap. And it’s time for you to step up and dream big. I aim to make you all proud. And I expect the same from you.