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Posts Tagged ‘Troy Venjohn’

Here’s Your Update on Atomic (aka Atomic Playpen)

This summer, we posted about the state of affairs at Minneapolis-based digital shop, Atomic, formerly known as Atomic Playpen. Well, today, Yahoo has reported what we’ve been hearing since mid-July, that AP is indeed bankrupt. Now, its hosting assets have been purchased by fellow Twin Cities operation, Atomic Data (no relation), which has been sparring with AP over the use of the word “Atomic.” According to Yahoo, “The bankruptcy and purchase of assets follows a legal dispute between Atomic Data and Atomic Playpen over the use of the name ‘Atomic’, which Atomic Data has utilized for more than ten years.”

We’ve heard a few sad tales following the dissolution of the agency, which began in July (the 12th to be exact) after co-founder Troy Venjohn told his execs that he was “shutting the shop and re-organizing.” According to those in the know, orders were given at the time to “let every employee go with the exception of a couple key technology gurus.” No idea where these “gurus” are at this point, but we’ll keep checking.

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It’s Apparently a Sad State of Affairs at Atomic

Since our original post about the apparent demise of Minneapolis-based agency Atomic (formerly Atomic Playpen), we’ve received a handful of tips regarding what transpired on that fateful Friday of July 12. We’ve emailed and calls to the office have the phone ringing, but here’s one account: “I am a former Atomic Playpen employee (I left the agency in 2012) and was told first -hand from several former colleagues who were still at AP that on Friday they were all called into a conference room at noon and told the agency was closing down. [JWT Minneapolis alum/Atomic president] Lydell [Capritta] delivered the news to employees.

As the phone still rings, we’re hearing that co-founder Troy Venjohn didn’t even show up to the meeting announcing the shuttering and that he is already getting another startup off the ground. From what we’ve been told, “a lot of talented people lost their jobs.” No word on numbers, but we’ll keep digging.

Hmm, So is Minneapolis Shop Atomic Still Open?

Voicemails and emails have all gone unanswered thus far, but from what folks on the Spy line are telling us, Minneapolis-based digital agency Atomic, formerly known as Atomic Playpen, has shuttered operations as of last Friday afternoon. We received a few tips about this including this one at the end of the day Friday: “…Minneapolis-based Atomic closed its doors at noon today and all employees were told they are out of jobs.” Yikes. If you were affected or know anything more, feel free to hit us up in tips.

Anyhow, last we recall, Atomic, when it still had the Playpen name intact, went through a little bit of a leadership shift last fall when co-founder Troy Venjohn bought out president/business partner Michael Kretsinger. The latter was eventually replaced by JWT Minneapolis (now Digitaria) alum Lydell Capritta at Atomic, which has worked with clients including Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and Xcel Energy.