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Digitas

Shetty Returns to Agency World, Takes CSO Role at Digitas

After a brief, nine-month spell as CEO of Newsweek/Daily Beast, Baba Shetty has rejoined the ad industry, assuming the role of chief strategy and media officer at what is now DigitasLBi. From what sources tell us, Shetty will officially assume his role in mid-August and will work out of the Boston office, reporting directly to Digitas North America CEO, Tony Weisman.

Prior to his most recent gig in the publishing world, Shetty spent seven years at fellow Boston-based agency Hill Holliday, where he last served as chief strategy officer and worked on accounts including Dunkin’ Donuts, Liberty Mutual and Bank of America. During his career, the returning ad exec also served as a managing director at Fallon and worked on the client side in marketing/comms at BMW early on.

Shah Takes Over as Digitas NY ECD

It took a couple of days on this one, but we have received confirmation that, yes, Atit Shah has assumed the role of executive creative director at Digitas New York, effectively. Shah, who’s been with the agency for over 14 years, succeeds Matthew D’Ercole, himself a longtime Digitas vet who has moved on (we’re hearing possibly away from advertising and out of the continental U.S.). Anyhow, Shah has spent the last six years serving as SVP/group creative director at Digitas NY, leading creative for agency clients including of course, American Express, and working on new business efforts.

Scribner Out at Digitas

Sources in the know confirm that George Scribner, who had a nine-year run at Digitas, is no longer with the agency. From what it looks, Scribner’s turned into another “ideas man” for the time being. The exec most recently served as SVP of brand strategy at Digitas and was based out of its New York office. From what we’ve been told by those on on the Spy line, Scribner was “laid off” but his former employer is not officially commenting on the matter. Prior to his lengthy stint at Digitas, Scribner worked on the business development side at Organic. No word yet on if there are plans to replace him.

Digitas Makes Some Reductions in NY, Boston

It’s been fairly quiet on the Digitas the staffing front for the past few months, save for a new hire here, a couple of departures there. Now, though, sources familiar with the matter are telling us that the agency is making some reductions in its New York and Boston offices as of this week, and from what we hear, 40-50 individuals in various departments are being affected. Digitas isn’t commenting but we’re getting word that there’s no specific reason for the cuts, just another case of agency readjustment, which in this particular one affects roughly 2% of the Publicis Groupe agency’s North American workforce. We’ll keep you posted if and when we hear more.

Digitas GCD Daggett Moves On

After three years at Digitas, where she last served as VP/group creative director on the agency’s American Express account and helped win new biz including the likes of Mondelez, Kate Daggett has left to assume the ECD title at Tenthwave, a digital agency that houses offices from NYC to Dallas to San Francisco.

According to one seemingly despondent tipster, “She was at Digitas for three years and was the heart and soul of the agency. She brought life, positivity and vibrancy to an otherwise highly competitive and depressing office. There were actual tears from both clients and the team when she left.” Don’t know if we’ll garner the same kind of emotion if and when we do the same thing, but during her career, Daggett has also worked as a creative director at the likes of TBWA\Chiat\Day and Agency.com. As for Tenthwave, the agency’s client roster includes heavy-hitters such as Google, Facebook, eBay, Duncan Hines and Skype.

Digitas Regional President, ‘Huge Harley Fan’ Barbara Goose Talks BrandLIVE, Social Media

In case you’re not an avid watcher Boston-based New England Cable News or its This Week in Business broadcast, you probably missed out on this nearly nine-minute chat between the hosts and Barbara Goose, who currently serves as president of Digitas Boston/Detroit and has spent 14 years in all at the agency. Tipsters give us the usual snark when sending this clip, but maybe they’re just taking umbrage with Goose’s proclamation that Digitas is “the leading digital agency in the world” following its merger with LBi a few months ago.

Whatever the case, seeing as most of our Digitas coverage in recent months has regarded cuts and/or departures, it’s welcoming to post something, well, um, positive? This was probably better suited as a lunchtime item, but what the hell, if you have some time to spare and give a shit, feel free to watch her explain Digitas’ BrandLIVE platform and how she’s anxious to take a Harley-riding class among other things.

Beeching, Digitas Part Ways

We first started hearing murmurs about this towards the end of last year, but they proved to be unfounded at the time. Well, fast-forward a few months and the script has flipped as we’ve received confirmation that Digitas and longtime creative exec Mark Beeching have indeed parted ways. Here’s a brief statement from an agency spokesperson: “After a decade of service to Digitas, Mark Beeching will set course on an exciting new professional path, outside of the agency, and Publicis Groupe. We thank Mark for his signature disruptive thinking and creative leadership and wish him the very best.”

During his decade-long stint at Digitas, Beeching, who worked out of New York, moved up the ranks from global ECD to his most recent position as worldwide chief creative/strategy officer at the agency, overseeing work for clients including AmEx¬†and AOL in the process. No word yet, though, if Digitas has immediate plans to replace him. We’ll keep you posted.

Parks Assumes North American CMO Role at Digitas

Well, no doubt they’ve certainly been on our radar over the past week or so, but this time, it’s not a defection but a promotion at Digitas that’s caught our attention. We’ve received confirmation that Kenneth Parks, currently EVP/executive managing director at the agency who’s working out of its New York office, is assuming the newly created role of Digitas North America chief marketing officer, effective¬† immediately.

Parks has been with Digitas for the last 15 years give or take, during which time he served as SVP/client relationships & new business for a few years at what was then Modem Media, and subsequently SVP/managing director of Digitas’ Stamford and Atlanta offices. As you’d probably expect from a CMO position, Parks will be responsible for new biz growth as well as marketing strategy.

Cross Transitioning Out of Digitas/Team Sprint

Another week, another Digitas/Team Sprint departure, though this time at least, we’ve been told by sources familiar with the matter that the exec in question is planning on staying within the Publicis Group/VivaKi family. Yes, Robert Cross, who initially joined Digitas as SVP of media and led digital media planning for Kraft but subsequently developed the communications planning practice for Team Sprint, is moving on. As mentioned, sources say that Cross is exploring options within the broader holding company.

Prior to joining up with Digitas, Cross spent several years at Mindshare, where he last served as managing director, communications planning and led strategic planning for Sprint and worked with other notable brands including Unilever, ConAgra and Kimberly-Clark. Sources add that there are no plans at the moment to replace him at Digitas.

Team Sprint VP Goldberg Heading Back to Familiar Territory (Updated)

Guess it’s that kind of week, coincidental as it may be. A day after we reported that Digitas EVP/media director Carl Fremont was leaving said agency, sources familiar with the matter has confirmed that Seth Goldberg is also parting ways after spending the last year-plus as VP/group director, brand strategy on Team Sprint out of the Chicago office. Where’s he headed, you ask? Well, interestingly enough, our sources say Draftfcb, where Goldberg spent nearly eight years working in the agency’s Windy City hub as a senior-level exec in the planning/strategy department on accounts including Kmart.

The irony is that just a year ago, Goldberg was named in a poaching lawsuit that Draftfcb filed against Digitas, but guess the hatchet has now been buried. We’re trying to get confirmation along with title/start date for Goldberg from Draft’s end, who prior to said agency, worked on the account side at the likes of Wunderman.

Update: Sources familiar with the matter tell us that Goldberg will indeed be rejoining Draftfcb Chicago, effective April 29, as SVP, group planning director.

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