3 Top Executives Leave Leap Partnership Ranks

The uneven history of The Leap Partnership has taken another puzzling turn with the departure of three executives who had provided the agency with a more traditional organizational structure.
According to the agency, managing director Erin Clark resigned, and media director Shane Ankeney and director of account planning Mark Thompson were fired when their positions were eliminated.
Earlier this month, parent company The Leap Group announced that Peter Vezmar, its chief financial officer, had resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Clark, a veteran account executive who earlier worked at J. Walter Thompson and Euro RSCG Tatham in Chicago, was named Leap’s first managing director in April 1997. Beth Pastor, vice president of corporate communications for The Leap Group, declined to say why Clark resigned. Clark could not be reached for comment.
Financial concerns may have prompted the firings of Ankeney and Thompson, sources said. The company recorded a loss of $5.6 million, or 41 cents per share, for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, and its stock continues to languish at under $2 per share.
Ankeney and Thompson represented disciplines that were not part of the agency’s initial flat organizational structure.
Pastor said there are no plans to replace the two because Leap’s current clients need no upper-level media or account planning management.
“If you’re not using it, why have it?” Pastor said. “It just has emerged that most of the clients do their own media planning.”
Pastor said Leap still has the capability to do media and account planning.
“If a client comes here and wants a full-service shop, they will get it somehow,” she said. “We’re not going in and saying, ‘Here’s the creative, what you do with it is your business.'”