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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Smiley’

Two Executives Leave R/GA San Francisco


This afternoon we learned that two executives are no longer with R/GA’s San Francisco office.

We don’t have much in the way of details, but we know that Managing Director Steve Weinswig and ECD Rob Smiley have left the IPG shop.

Weinswig joined R/GA as VP/MD in December 2011; he previously served as manager of San Francisco’s frog design and arrived at the agency with more than two decades of experience including a stint in accounts at Leo Burnett. He also helped co-manage R/GA’s Los Angeles office, which opened in 2013.

Smiley was promoted to the ECD position in early 2011 along with Mark Shewmaker, who is now chief experience officer at another Bay Area agency, SMITH. Prior to joining R/GA as a freelance CD, Smiley directed creative in-house at Apple, served as GCD and global creative director on Absolut at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, and helped launch Chiat’s San Francisco office while working with clients like Levi’s.

A spokesman describes the decision to part ways with R/GA as “mutual,” noting that R/GA appreciates the work done by both parties over the years.

In case you missed them, the agency’s latest spots for Beats have been getting a good bit of attention from trade and sports/entertainment press outlets.

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R/GA Staffs Up in San Francisco

R/GA has found a new partner-in-crime for executive creative director Rob Smiley (you know, this guy) in its San Francisco office, as “the agency for the digital age” has tapped Frog Design alum Michael Jefferson to serve as co-ECD and c0-lead creative efforts in its Bay Area branch. Jefferson (pictured) has spent the last six years as creative director at the global Frog Design, working with a client roster that included Microsoft, GE, Visa and AT&T. Prior to Frog, the new R/GA ECD spent time working as an an interaction designer/producer at the likes of Verizon and SF shop Eleven. He replaces Mark Shewmaker, who left R/GA back in July.

Along with Jefferson’s hire, R/GA SF, currently 65-strong in terms of staff, has tapped Ari Nave and Matt Nelson to serve as group planning director and director, mobile & social platforms, respectively. Nave most recently served as SVP, group planning director at Deutsch and has worked on the planning side at other agencies such as McGarryBowen, O&M and Grey San Francisco during his career. Nelson, meanwhile, joins R/GA SF from Tribal DDB SF, where he worked as director, digital and social strategy.

R/GA San Francisco Appoints New Creative Leads

Call it a shakeup if you will at R/GA’s West Coast office as the agency has announced that Mark Shewmaker and Rob Smiley (left) will be taking over as executive creative directors in SF.

From what we’ve been told, current R/GA San Francisco ECD Mauro Cavalletti, who has been with the agency for nearly three years, will now be “supporting global R/GA creative initiatives.” Meanwhile, SF managing director Ryan Denning, a 10-year R/GA vet who was promoted to his post a year ago, is heading back to the East Coast to be closer to his family.

While R/GA is actively pursuing Denning’s replacement, the agency reassures us that both he and Cavalletti are “absolutely still with the agency.” As for Denning’s exact position upon his return to NYC,  the agency tells us, “We are currently assessing the needs across our NY accounts to determine what makes the most sense for both the agency and Ryan, respectively.  Ryan is a long time R/GAer who has been with the agency for more than a decade, and we want to ensure his transition is as seamless as possible.”

As for the new creative leads in San Francisco, Shewmaker is an eight-year R/GA vet who’s been involved in campaigns including the Verizon Droid digital billboards in Times Square as well as work for other clients including L’Oreal Paris, Merck, IBM, Walmart and Lowe’s.

Smiley recently worked as a freelance creative director at Apple. Prior to that, he spent a handful of years at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, where he served as GCD and global creative director on Absolut. In addition, Smiley helped launch Chiat SF and worked on brands including Levi’s and Game Show Network.