Photo: Flickr/Sander van der Wel
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners will cut between 150 and 200 of the firm’s almost 700 workers, a source tells us, following a note to employees yesterday in which founder Jeff Goodby said he would be “adjusting the size of our staff.”He told AgencySpy yesterday:
“Today, we at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have begun adjusting the size of our staff in the wake of losing Sprint and parting ways with Hewlett-Packard. We don’t divulge the number of people or the percentage of our staff affected, but it’s commensurate with the numbers you’d have for accounts this size.”
UPDATE: When contacted this afternoon, Goodby did not want to discuss numbers, but pointed to his letter, which “really says it all.” He added that, as a whole, the agency really cares about their employees and will do as much as anybody to help them land on their feet.
The cuts were expected after the Omnicom-owned agency lost two of its most prominent clients, Hewlett-Packard and Sprint. Our source describes the atmosphere inside Goodby as “crazy” and “sad” right now.
GS&P resigned the HP business in November after working with the company for 16 years. At the time, Ad Age reported severe management turnover was partially to blame for the split; the company had gone through three CEOs in two years and had hired a new CMO in April of last year.
Then, in early December, Sprint shifted its lead agency duties from GS&P, which had held the role since 2007, to the Publicis Group. The change took place shortly after Bill Malloy stepped into the role of CMO.
It’s not uncommon to hear that a new CMO is moving their account to a new agency. After all, a new officer is often appointed if the business is wavering. Since they are accountable for the sales, it may make sense to split with an agency if it isn’t doing the trick.
But as Jeff Goodby notes, “there is certainly a lot of marketing officer churn these days.”
The agency, famous (among other reasons) for its “Got Milk?” campaign, won two accounts in the latter half of 2011, TD Ameritrade and Crown Imports, and is the creative power behind the NBA, Frito Lay, Sonic and Adobe accounts. Still, that did not seem to be enough to avoid the staff cuts.
It has not been an easy few months for the agency, which in addition to losing these accounts is competing in a review on its Chevrolet account, which was awarded to the shop in 2010.
*Mallory Russell is a former employee of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
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