At the start of the new year, Asher/Gal & Partners here laid off an undisclosed number of staff members. A source said the departures included two partners at the agency, Barry Schoenfeld, who was retained as a consultant, and Christine Steele.
Kenneth Gal, president of and CEO of the agency, confirmed that "less than a dozen people" were let go. He added that the staff now stands at "about 70 to 80 people."
He said the layoffs were spurred by the agency's loss of the $30 million Suzuki account in mid-2000 and its failure to land the California Commission of Families & Children's three-year, $90 million account after participating in the review. Gal noted that he waited until after the holidays to announce the layoffs because the company did not want to seem "Grinch-like."