Hellos, Goodbyes for Havas

French Firm Havas Advertising may have completed its $2.1 billion purchase of Snyder Communications, but questions have surfaced regarding what role, if any, former Snyder interactive agency Circle.com will play.

Circle.com chief executive Robert Wilke and executive vice president/finance Victor Mandel have left the Baltimore interactive mar-keting firm, and Havas has launched an internal “review” to determine the fate of Circle.com and its approximately 500 employees nationwide.

Meanwhile, the integrated solutions unit of Arnold Worldwide, Boston, another former Snyder holding, has been bolstered by the appointment of Ira Goldklang as vice president, group account director, overseeing Royal Caribbean and JetBlue Airways, both showpiece accounts. Goldklang most recently served at crosstown shop Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing. Karen Riordan, executive vice president/chief marketing officer of Arnold Integrated Solutions, called Goldklang “a key strategic hire” for the 70-person relationship marketing unit.

As for Wilke and Mandel, Havas said in a statement that the pair “resigned from their posts … due to differences of opinion concerning performance with the board of directors and management.” Havas chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac said managers are “reviewing the strategic direction of Circle.com and the changing demands of the e-consultants market. We expect to complete the review on or before year-end.”

A Circle.com representative declined comment; Wilke and Mandel could not be reached.

Charlie Tarzian, formerly Circle.com’s chief strategic officer, has been named interim CEO; staffers Tim Beckett and Douglas Lombardo will serve as president and CFO, respectively. Circle.com lost $16.8 million in the first nine months of 2000, compared with a loss of $5.1 million for the same period last year, according to figures provided by Havas. Circle.com has more than a dozen offices, including in Boston, Wilton, Conn. and New York.