BOSTON Seeking to build momentum after a couple of slow years, WestWayne has added Cici Kelly and Jane Matthews as vice presidents and directors of business development.
Kelly will spearhead new-business initiatives, while Matthews will manage the pitch process.
The Atlanta-based independent said the hires signal its commitment to compete on a broader stage.
"In Cici we've identified someone with a unique ability to combine aggressiveness, tenacity and approachability—which has resulted in her proven track record," said agency CEO Richard Ward. "Jane's unique skill set of account service, strategic planning and business development makes her the perfect person to manage the review process within the agency."
Matthews was most recently vp, account director at market research firm Bantam Group in Atlanta. She has also served as new-business director at Austin Kelley Advertising, which last year combined with Interpublic Group's Fitzgerald + Co. in Atlanta.
Kelly joins WestWayne from RelationServe Media in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she was vp, business development and sales. From 1997-2002, she worked with Ward at AOL.
Ward joined the shop in March, seven months after the departure of former CEO Jeff Johnson [Adweek Online, March 13]. (COO Jennifer Garr and new business director Kim Hunt followed Johnson out the door.)
One of Ward's first appointments was to hire former BellSouth executive Alan Blount in May as vp, direct marketing, a move intended to open new revenue streams [Adweek Online, May 5]. Ward, most recently a consultant to various Internet companies, has also vowed to bolster WestWayne's digital marketing capabilities and is looking to hire a seasoned exec to run that facet of the agency's operations.
WestWayne has been attempting to gain ground for some time, and it was particularly hard hit by the late 2005 departure of SunTrust's $40 million account, which ranked among the shop's largest pieces of business.
The agency has failed to add any significant new clients in at least the last 18 months. Billings in 2005 were up 5 percent to roughly $500 million, while revenue rose 3 percent to $51 million.