AQuantive Taps Kokich To Lead Expansion

As the new worldwide president of aQuantive’s Avenue A/ Razorfish, Clark Kokich faces the task of managing the quickly expanding shop.

Kokich, formerly president of Avenue A/Razorfish’s West Coast operations, will oversee the agency’s three regional units, knitting together best practices to apply nationwide and setting plans for an expected expansion into Europe and Asia. Bob Lord and Dave Friedman, presidents of the east and central divisions, respectively, will report to Kokich. A new head of the west division likely will be named, said aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews.

Kokich, 53, joined aQuantive in 1999, after serving as CEO of clothing retailer Calla Bay and as a sales exec at AT&T Wireless.

Managing growth is Kokich’s No. 1 task. The 900-strong agency added 90 people last quarter, and it has 150 open positions in interactive marketing and Web development.

In the first two quarters of 2005, Avenue A/Razorfish’s revenues were $87.4 million, up from $22.7 million a year earlier, and its net income was $22.7 million, up from $6.8 million. Combined with aQuantive’s ad-serving and performance-media units, the company anticipates nearly $300 million in 2005 revenue. “At this point, they’re firing on all cylinders,” said Aaron Kessler, an equities analyst with Piper Jaffray.

Jeff Lanctot, vp of media at Avenue A/Razorfish, said the agency is outpacing the overall industry’s growth thanks to investments in the technology infrastructure and data analysis during the lean years from 2001 to 2003, as well as the $160 million purchase of creative shop Razorfish in July 2004. So far, 23 clients have added either creative or media services. “It was really about maximizing our opportunity to capture the growth,” Lanctot said.

As media becomes more digital, aQuantive is positioned to benefit by offering an array of services. “[Clients’] question used to be, ‘How do we build a great site or ad campaign?'” Kokich said. “Now it’s, ‘How do we respond to these fundamental changes?'”