Irv Fish, a founding partner 20 years ago of what is now Fallon, said continuing as the agency's chief financial officer was "a risk not worth taking for the agency."
The shop last week hired as its CFO David Dabill, whose résumé includes stints at Arthur Andersen and Leo Burnett. Fish will continue as the network's chief operating officer.
"As we expand globally, it is critical that we have an individual who is comfortable and familiar with international finance," Fish said. "I am not that person."
The Minneapolis-based shop is putting together an international network of 12 to 14 offices. Dabill, who worked for Burnett for nine years in the 1990s as international finance director, said he will draw on his experience at the larger agency. Fallon represents "an opportunity to start from scratch with a new business," he said.
Rather than expanding through mergers and acquisitions with overseas agencies, the agency will follow the template it created for its London office, hiring a small group of home-grown "entrepreneurial" types to staff individual offices, Fish said. "Our primary focus is not to go into a market and buy other agencies," Fish said.
Separately, Fallon New York executive creative director Jamie Barrett is leaving the shop for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, where he will be associate partner and creative director. Kevin Roddy, creative director at Fallon New York, will replace Barrett as the shop's executive creative director.