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Razorfish

Palmer Parts Ways with Razorfish

For whatever reason, the Razorfish camp has been unusually unresponsive since we started inquiring about this last week, but yes, it appears that executive creative director Rob Palmer has left the Publicis Groupe agency after nearly three years. Palmer, who served as ECD at Razorfish West but actually worked out of his home turf in Boise, initially joined the agency as creative director after co-running his own shop, Mitchell + Palmer. From what spies are telling us,Palmer’s recent departure preceded yet another round of cuts–though relatively small this time around–at Razorfish (we’re hearing anywhere from 5-10).

Anyhow, prior to Razorfish, Palmer spent some time as a CD on eBay while at Goodby, worked in a similar role at BBDO and served as CD for several years at W+K on accounts like ESPN and Nike.

 

We Hear: Razorfish Cuts in Central/SE Region? (Updated)

The numbers have been varying all morning on this one, but we’ve received several reports that Razorfish has cut staffers across departments, across cities ranging from Chicago to Atlanta to Austin.

We’re hearing anywhere from 30-50 staffers (actually, some are saying even 100?!) have been affected. Was it due to the Publicis Groupe-owned agency overbooking staff on the Samsung digital biz? We’re not sure at this point, but the tips have been piling up all morning on this one. We’re of course checking and will keep you posted if and when.

Update: Here’s a quick statement from a Razorfish spokesperson: “As consumer needs continue to shift alongside the digital landscape, we periodically make staff adjustments to guarantee we’re equipped with the skills that match our clients’ changing demands. The recent workforce reduction will ensure continued operational health as we evolve these critical offerings moving forward.  Our capabilities and staffing are now further aligned so that we can continue to effectively deliver solutions at the intersection of technology, media and creative.”

Razorfish Names Daniel Bonner New Global CCO

We’ve just received word that Razorfish has named Daniel Bonner as the agency’s new global CCO. Bonner joined Razorfish in September of last year at the agency’s London office after a 14-year stint at AKQA UK.

We have what appears to be an internal memo from Razorfish CEO Bob Lord about the appointment. Congrats, Daniel, and take it away, fellow Bob!

“Fish –

You may recall several weeks ago I announced a search for a global Chief Creative Officer for our business.  Today, I’m pleased to announce that we have awarded that position to Daniel Bonner.  In his new post, he will oversee Razorfish’s global creative vision; championing ideas that build brands, and content that incites consumers to engage.

As I’ve said many times, we firmly believe that the interaction of creative, media and technology is essential to great marketing. Our most successful programs as an agency – those that drive the biggest ROI for our clients – happen when these three disciplines work together seamlessly. Since Daniel joined Razorfish in September of ’11, he has been an absolutely essential component to ensuring we deliver that mix to our clients.

I have attached the press release for your reference.  Articles will be hitting the trades momentarily. Until then, please join me in congratulating Daniel on his promotion.”

(ed: If and when we get said release that Lord is referring to, we’ll post more)

From the Looks of It, John McVay, Razorfish Part Ways

After spending eight years at Razorfish, it appears that John McVay (pictured) is leaving the agency’s Atlanta office according to a memo sent from president Shannon Denton. McVay has spent the last four years as managing director of Razorfish’s ATL digs. We’re checking into see where the departing exec is headed to next, but feel free to read Denton’s memo below, verbatim:

“From: Shannon Denton
To: Everyone – Razorfish Atlanta
Date: 3/15/2012 11:41am

Hi Atlanta Fish,
I wanted to let you know that John McVay has decided to leave Razorfish.

John has clearly been instrumental in building the Atlanta office, developing great client relationships and contributing in many other areas across Razorfish and the Central Region.   Please join me in wishing him the best of luck going forward.   He will certainly be missed.

Over the next several weeks, I will be working with John, Atlanta office leadership and the Central Region leadership team to transition key clients and other responsibilities as appropriate.

It is natural for some to feel concern when someone like John leaves.  However, we have a tremendously talented team & leadership in Atlanta, do phenomenal work and are blessed with great client relationships.  And fundamental to Razorfish’s great history and culture is how we achieve even greater levels during times of change.

Going forward, I am very confident in our ability to continue to grow Razorfish Atlanta, build careers for Atlanta Fish, deliver great work and delight our clients.

Thank you,

Shannon”

Digitas/Razorfish Health Now Housed Under PHCG Umbrella

We’re not sure if this is an evolution of the “shared centers of excellence” structure that Digitas/Razorfish Health were plotting after the last round of layoffs this summer, but whatever the case, the agencies have now aligned with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group as part of a revamp of Publicis Groupe’s healthcare offering.

With this move, Digitas and Razorfish Health will join a PHCG roster that currently includes Saatchi & Saatchi Health, Publicis Life Brands, Publicis Healthware International, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, and Publicis Medical Education Group. Leadership-wise, while Digitas/Razorfish Health CEO is calling it quits by year’s end, global co-presidents Michael du Toit and Alexandra von Plato will remain on board and report to PHCG president/CEO Nick Colucci. In a statement, Publicis Groupe COO Jean-Yves Naouri, who’s been mentioned over and over as Maurice Levy‘s eventual successor and oversees PHCG, says, “This move will create patterns of cross-fertilization, ensuring that we have the sharpest and best integrated skills on the market.”

The Philly-based Health units’ client roster currently includes J&J, Prizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Digitas/Razorfish Health CEO to Retire by Year’s End

Well, it looks like Digitas and Razorfish Health’s revamped executive team is losing head from body as CEO David Kramer has announced that he’s retiring at the end of 2011. In a statement,  Kramer sounds like anyone on the verge of retirement after a long career,  saying, “Digitas Health and Razorfish Health are poised to become important global agencies engaged in the transformation of healthcare marketing. As founder and CEO for the last 23 years, I realize that it is time for the next generation of leaders in our company to fulfill our worldwide ambition.”  Kramer has decided that he’d like to slow his business life down. I am really happy at the thought of playing more guitar, more golf, more time with my wife, daughters and grandchildren.”

Five years back, Kramer’s Medical Broadcasting Company was acquired by Digitas which was acquired by Publicis Groupe in 2007 and eventually became Digitas Health.

Brooks Day Takes West Coast Biz Dev Gig at Razorfish

It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve heard about a notable Razorfish appointment (Patrick Hounsell‘s hiring in January is the last thing that comes to mind), but the Publicis-owned agency has now welcomed a new director of business development for its West Coast operations by the name of Brooks Day. Who’s that, you ask? Well, Day arrives from San Francisco-based online video/technology firm Clikthrough, where he spent two years as partner and executive director, business development. Prior to Clikthrough, Day worked as senior manager, biz dev at local shop Fancy, which if you may remember was once home to creative directors Geoff Edwards and Mauro Alencar.

Anyhow, back to Day. In his new gig at Razorfish, the exec will remain in SF but, as his title implies, will oversee all West Coast new biz activity for the Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles offices as well. Tipsters tell us that he will report to Razorfish’s SVP of business development, Wes Breyfogle, who’s based in Austin.

As long as we catching you up on Razorfish, on the creative front, the agency recently brought on Organic alum Sam Cannon as ECD in the Central region and Pierre Odendaal as CD in the East.

Razorfish Toys with Instagram

Razorfish Atlanta’s creative team has just started its own Instagram feed-claiming to be the first agency to do so in the process–and is sharing and posting photos on the account as are a handful of the network’s offices throughout the U.S.

The Razorfish app feed can only be accessed, though, via a free Instagram account on your iPhone. Why? The Razorfish camp tells us that because this is a strategic approach on the app creators’ part to keep the social core of the experience purely mobile. However, individual photos from an Instagram account can be viewed on the web via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and email. If you’re just as riveted by images like the one above (or this one), you can look them up at @razorfish or by searching for “razorfish” within the Instagram app.

Razorfish Has a New GM

Publicis Groupe-owned shop Razorfish appointed Patrick Hounsell to SVP/GM of media for North America. The New York-based exec has tallied up 11 years at said agency, dating back to when he joined Avenue A to serve as group director of search, media and the consumer insight group. Following the Avenue A/Razorfish merger in 2004, Hounsell led the media accounts as part of the agency’s East Coast management team before eventually moving up to GM of Razorfish’s media and marketing group in 2007.

Apparently, Razorfish wants the world to become more aware of its social media, search and digital prowess and to do so, the agency’s tapped Hounsell to create a new “national structure” for its media and search practices.

Microsoft Office Sponsors Razorfish ‘Ideas’ Celebration

Where do good ideas, originality, innovation, etc. come from? That’s the question(s) that Razorfish and Microsoft are trying to answer with a short documentary series called “id3a01ogy,” which the parties involved are claiming is a celebration of “ideas” and creative thinking. Everyone from a Hollywood screenwriter/literary manager, to start-up company owners and educators weigh in on the matter and of course, there’s some promotion involved, specifically Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. This is just the teaser above, but as noted in the clip, Oct. 26 will bring the great reveal, or as the folks who pinged us about the project call it, “the full goodness.”

(h/t Dennis Liu)

More: A&G Hires Digitas, Razorfish Alum as ‘Creator of Opportunities’

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