Underutilized in Bos-ton and looking to again run his own show, Rick Britton last week joined The Arnold Agency in Richmond, Va., as president.
Britton replaced Bob Barocci, who resigned rather than accept a different job at the shop's parent company, Arnold Communications in Boston. Barocci, recruited to Arnold two years ago after returning from overseas assignments for Young & Rubicam, is expected to stay on through a transition, then pursue what was described by Arnold chairman Ed Eskandarian last week as "entrepreneurial opportunities."
The $50 million shop, which works for clients such as the Virginia Lottery, Stihl and Virginia Power, has also welcomed back Matt Smith as creative director. Accord-ing to Britton, when it was decided he would run the Richmond office, he called Smith in San Francisco and asked him to return.
"It all happened pretty quickly," Smith told Adweek. "I really missed the Southeast and especially Richmond."
Although Eskandarian said there have been discussions of combining the agency's two Virginia offices, there is no intention of doing that now. Britton will have a year to get to know current clients and make "sure no balls are dropped there" and then "focus on building business," Eskandarian said.
To underscore his commitment to his new job, Britton said he has sold his house in the suburbs of Boston and bought a new home in the Richmond area, relocating his wife and three school-age children.
Britton's move from Boston was viewed by one agency observer as a "career extender." While bringing more than 20 years of agency experience to Richmond, Britton was considered on the second tier of management at the Boston-based parent firm. --with Jim Osterman