Wolf Sues Former ECD Rogers

NEW YORK Nearly a year after shuttering The Wolf Group, former chairman Larry Wolf is suing his ex-New York executive creative director Mike Rogers, alleging that he wooed clients and recruited employees before the office closed early last year.

The lawsuit, filed by Wolf Shevack Inc. in New York State Supreme Court on Nov. 24, asks for $10 million on four separate causes of action, including unfair competition and misappropriation of confidential information.

Wolf’s attorneys said in the suit that a review of the defendant’s e-mails reveal that Rogers, along with then director of client services Janique Helson, set up their current company, began poaching clients and employees before the office closed on Jan. 31, and took with them confidential information including works-in-progress from The Wolf Group’s New York office.

“We will call whatever witnesses are necessary, including clients and employees, whoever will help us prove our case,” said Wolf. “We believe that the company really had a buyer in hand and it was a viable business.”

Wolf, chairman of the network, said the network had been close to selling the office, but the offer fell through when Rogers resigned Jan. 30. Wolf shuttered the New York and Toronto offices and sold the Cleveland and Rochester, N.Y., outposts back to their principals.

Within days of the New York close, Rogers announced the opening of a new agency, ML Rogers, and took with him 25 staffers and the office’s biggest account, The Scotts Co. Former Wolf clients Aamco, NASA, CIT Group and Arbor Mist followed.

Rogers said he assembled the new agency and contacted Wolf accounts after the office shut its doors and the clients were left scrambling. The suit and the e-mails mentioned therein, he said, are “a total fantasy on his part.”