Agency.com’s N.Y., S.F. Office Chiefs Depart

NEW YORK The heads of Agency.com’s New York and San Francisco offices have resigned from the company, the Omnicom Group shop confirmed.

Eric Valk Peterson, managing partner of Agency.com’s New York office, and Alan Burgis, who held the same position in San Francisco, resigned late last week for what Agency.com termed “personal reasons.”

CEO David Eastman said the changes are part of an overhaul of Agency.com’s operations. Since taking over as CEO in March, Eastman has focused on international expansion, opening three European offices with others planned for Paris and Shanghai in the coming months. Since arriving in New York from his London base in September, he has focused on reorienting Agency.com’s marketing positioning.

“I’m not interested in incremental change,” Eastman said. “I’m interested in completely redefining the way we do business.”

A big part of that redefinition is the Omnicom alignment of Agency.com with TBWA, which led to former CEO Don Scales’ ouster over strategic differences.

Eastman promoted Valk Peterson to managing partner just six months ago from his position as vice president of media. Burgis was named managing director in San Francisco after joining Agency.com when it bought his agency, Exile on Seventh, in 2004.

Valk Peterson and Burgis were unavailable for comment.

The shakeup comes during a tumultuous stretch at the shop. Several Agency.com staffers followed Scales to iCrossing, a New York search agency. In August, Agency.com was widely criticized for releasing a video on YouTube as part of its pitch for the Subway interactive account. It subsequently dropped out of the review.

Valk Peterson, a 10-year veteran of the shop, in May replaced Yuri Salnikoff, who is now leading the Nokia account at R/GA. Creative director Carla Echevarria recently followed Salnikoff to the Interpublic Group agency. San Francisco creative director Ali Grayeli also resigned from the shop last week, sources said, five months after coming over from Blast Radius.

“Clearly nobody likes to lose talent,” Eastman said. “One of the reasons there’s so many moves in the bigger agencies is there’s a complete shortage of quality people.”