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Matt Ryan Departs Agency He Founded

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Matt Ryan, CEO of Ryan Drossman/MARC USA, is leaving the agency this week to become CEO of an as-yet unnamed venture-capital company, sources said.

The new company also launches this week in New York and will fund an e-services business in partnership with MARC USA, a source said.

"Matt is staying with MARC but in a different capacity," said Lee Brody, a representative for the Pittsburgh-based agency network, which bought Ryan Drossman in July 1999.

Brody would not elaborate on Ryan's new role and said no decision had been made about a possible replacement at the New York shop.

"We have a strong management team in the agency that will be led by (vice chairman, co-creative director) Neil Drossman and (evp, co-creative director) Bob Needleman," Brody said.

He added that Ryan Drossman/MARC USA will be rebranded this fall as MARC USA, New York.

"It's always been the intention that we would rebrand all of our offices as MARC USA," he said, pointing to the network's recently renamed Chicago, Indianapolis and Miami outposts.

Ryan, 39, could not be reached for comment.

Sources said that Ryan Drossman, which claimed $100 million in annual billings and had a staff of 55 in 1999 [Adweek, Feb. 7], has lost 15 staffers in the past six months due to attrition and layoffs. Billings are now closer to $75 million, a source said.

The agency, which Ryan launched as Ryan & Partners in 1990, also recently resigned or lost the following accounts: Waldbaum's, Internet service provider Verio and some business from longtime client Church & Dwight. Posh & Sticks, a furniture e-tailer account the shop won in May, went out of business in July without launching.

Ryan Drossman's current client roster includes Frederick Wildman & Sons (the makers of Folonari wines), Bear Stearns, Gym Source and Internet markets company E-Speed.

MARC USA has 10 offices in the United States and claims $650 million in annual billings.