Pafenbach to Exit Arnold

BOSTON A second managing partner will leave Havas’ Arnold here following the departure of the estimated $400 million Volkswagen of America account, which had been the agency’s largest piece of business.

Arnold has confirmed that managing partner and executive creative director Alan Pafenbach is set to exit by year’s end.

An 18-year veteran of Boston-based Arnold, Pafenbach, along with chief creative officer Ron Lawner and current Modernista! partner Lance Jensen, are credited with piloting the trendsetting “Drivers wanted” campaign for Volkswagen beginning in 1995, when the agency won the VW account.

“It’s been everything a creative guy could want,” said Pafenbach, in a statement. “Ten years running an iconic piece of business that let me build a tremendous team and create high-profile, award-winning work. I’m a lucky guy.”

“Alan was a tremendous asset in shaping our VW work, which raised the bar creatively for the entire category,” said Lawner. “We are a better place because of his contributions, and wish him best of luck as he moves forward in his career.”

An Arnold representative said he was not laid off, but left to pursue other opportunities, though he does not currently have a new position lined up.

Pafenbach could not immediately be reached for comment.

Managing partner and group account director Jon Castle, who oversaw VW for much of its 10-year run at Arnold, is also departing [Adweek Online, Oct. 4].

VW in September decided to dump Arnold and move its business to MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami.

Arnold cut approximately 50-80 staffers (10-15 percent of its headquarters staff) in October.