Independent digital agency iCrossing elevated Don Scales to CEO, replacing founder Jeff Herzog.
Scales, 52, has served as iCrossing’s president and chief operating for two years. He joined the company in 2006 as COO, adding title of president two months later. Herzog, who founded iCrossing 10 years ago, will remain on the company’s board of directors, serving as vice chairman.
The move marks a changing of the guard at iCrossing, which in a decade has grown from a small Scottsdale, Ariz., search shop to a 620-person digital agency. The company has fueled much of its growth through an aggressive acquisition strategy over the past two years. It has bought five companies, expanding its services from its search optimization roots into search advertising, analytics and Web development.
Scales has led the company’s efforts to integrate the acquired companies into a cohesive organization since. After acquiring Web development shop Proxicom in July 2007, iCrossing adopted that firm’s national service model, replacing a regional delivery model. It has also rebranded the shops it acquired under the iCrossing name and is working to bundle services to clients. ICrossing boasts 40 clients in the Fortune 500.
Richard Rosenblatt, chairman of iCrossing, said the move represents a natural progression for Scales since he has proven his merit in the past two years, during which he assumed day-to-day management of the firm. The next step for the agency: a public offering.
“This is a company that goes public in a couple of years,” Rosenblatt said, noting market conditions and the company’s evolution and growth would determine the exact timing.
Prior to joining iCrossing, Scales held executive roles at Omnicom Group’s Agency.com for three years, including two as CEO. He resigned in 2006 following a dispute with Omnicom management over aligning Agency.com with TBWA Worldwide. He has since brought over several Agency.com executives, including chief strategy officer Adam Lavelle, chief financial officer Mike Jackson and evp of operations Dave Johnson.