It was just over a month ago that we reported on an apparent mass exodus at Publicis Modem and today we’ve received confirmation that there’s one more leaving the firm, namely Dan Rubin, who spent over two years at PM and most recently served as SVP, digital strategy and insights. Rubin has split for Meredith Integrated Marketing to assume the role of director, digital strategy.
We spoke earlier this morning with Publicis Modem global CEO Jean-Phillipe Maheu as well as U.S. president Dani Nadel to get some clarification on what’s exactly happening at the agency. From the looks of it, our tipsters in February were fairly accurate with the names mentioned in the list of departures, but Maheu tells us it’s part of a master plan of sorts. “The reality is that after a period after very extensive growth, I felt we [were] reaching a step where we had to upgrade the team,” he says. “We are an industry with high turnover and we have high turnover right now because of the upgrading that’s going through. We clarified the structure and simplified as part of our strategy. Sometimes it’s us, sometimes it’s the employees who say, ‘I didn’t sign up for that.’ But our industry changes so fast, so you need to bring in fresh blood.”
Maheu, who signed on last year as CEO after serving as chief digital officer at Ogilvy, goes on to say that Publicis Modem is “hiring more people than we see leaving.” Well, to its credit, last month, the agency did hire Schematic alum Hyo Yeon as MD of its East unit after retaining digital duties on LG and added to its New York creative team with a few AKQA/Razorfish ex-pats. Still, we’re not sure if Maheu’s math is totally accurate in regards to the hiring/leaving ratio if our tipsters are correct. But we’ll see how the luring of “fresh blood” pans out in the coming months.
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