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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Bedecarre’

Sproule Leaving AKQA SF, Heading to NYC? (Updated: Yes)

Hmm, well this little memo purportedly written by AKQA chairman Tom Bedecarre seems to indicate that the WPP-owned agency’s San Francisco managing director Stuart Sproule is moving on from the Bay Area and heading to our home turf. We’re of course trying to verify the matter with said agency, but here’s what we got below, verbatim:

“Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day, ‘ay ‘ay ‘ay…

After 12 years of loyal and dedicated service to AKQA, Stuart Sproule has made the reluctant decision to pursue a new career and life opportunity in New York City. Fulfilling a long-held desire to return to Madison Avenue where he started his advertising career at JWT, Stuart will be joining TBWA as President of their global Digital Arts Network, which includes a team of 700 digital specialists across 18 TBWA offices.

February 28th will be Stuart’s last day at AKQA and because he has been busy making plans to move his family to New York, he won’t be back in San Francisco for several weeks — at which time I will be hosting a farewell reception so that we can properly send off Stuart with our best wishes and thanks for his many contributions to AKQA.

Until we meet once more, Stuart, here’s wishing you a happy voyage — to your new — home!

Best regards,
Tom


Tom Bedecarre
Chairman”

Sproule, along with several others, was promoted by AKQA last year and took on the role of managing director, international operations & talent.

Update: It’s confirmed and Sproule joins Digital Arts Network on March 1 and will be based in New York. See statement after the jump.

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WPP Set to Acquire AKQA

 

Despite his shareholder woes, we guess you can chalk up another win for Sir Martin Sorrell as his holding company WPP has agreed to acquire AKQA. The digital network will still operate as a standalone unit within the fold and continue to be led by founder/CEO Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarré. As a result of the move, the latter will also become president of a new Silicon Valley-based outfit called WPP Ventures, which will explore new digital opportunities for WPP.

Says Sorrell in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome AKQA’s unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP.  We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients. We are looking forward to working with Ajaz and Tom to broaden their offer and our own, both geographically and functionally.  We are delighted to be united!”

Hyperbole aside, here’s a quick stat: AKQA currently has eight global offices and houses 1,160 staffers ranging from creatives and strategists to engineers and technologists. In addition, the Guardian reports that the WPP acquisition of AKQA is the “most significant deal” in the digital ad market since Publicis Groupe bought Razorfish three years ago.

Tuesday Odds and Ends

 

-Ad folks including Lori Senecal and Jimmy Smith do a fashion shoot for Forbes. link

-Expedia offers its own “Vacation Deprivation” study. Coincidence? link

-Organic picked up digital AOR duties for Quaker Oats brands including Quaker Oats, Quaker Chewy Granola, and Quaker Rice Cakes.

-AKQA CEO Tom Bedecarre has some folks up in arms with a tweet (above).  link

-L.A.-based prodco Boxer Films added director Kevin Fitzgerald to its roster.

-The “ad contrarian” himself, Bob Hoffman, takes on the new Pepsi campaign. link

-Pittsburgh-based MARC USA hired Chris Heitmann and Chris Pointon as EVP/chief innovation officer and SVP/marketing technology, respectively.

-Panera Bread tapped Cramer-Krasselt as its new creative AOR. link

-Starcom alum Amy Bickers joined Austin-based firm Umbel as director of agency solutions. link