Jan Lewin is stepping down as managing director of Manning, Selvage & Lee here.
Lewin's departure caps a tumultuous but highly successful 17-year career with the public relations firm.
"I like building businesses," Lewin said. "I've taken Manning as far as I can. Let somebody else take it from here."
Lewin will be replaced by a deputy, senior vice president Jim Tsokanos, who becomes a managing partner.
Originally hired by MS&L Atlanta managing director Jim Gray in 1984, Lewin was fired by his replacement in 1991. She spent the next years building an Atlanta-based healthcare communications business. In 1995, Gray invited Lewin back to rebuild the flagging operation. She sold her practice to MS&L, then returned to work.
"In 1995, we had a 9,000-square- foot office and six employees. Today, we have 20,000 square feet and72 employees," said Lewin. "When I took over, we were losing $90,000 a month. Last year we earned $9million in fees.Success is the best revenge."
Lewin's next venture will be closer to home—a joint partnership with her husband, Henry Lewin, who operates Fulfillware, a direct mail company in Atlanta.
"It's been a secret ambition of mine to join him on the creative services side," she said.
Tsokanos joined MS&L from Ketchum Atlanta. As deputy managing director, he supervised the shop's Philips Consumer Electronics and Chevy Olympic Torch Relay accounts.