ATLANTA Six senior executives of Work Inc. have left the agency to form their own shop, said Joel Constantz, chief executive of the new venture.
The new agency is called Watson and is based in Richmond, Va. The shop took all the clients and 20 staff members from the independent Richmond agency Work Inc. and moved to new space in downtown Richmond, Constantz said.
Work Inc. will no longer exist, although founder Cabell Harris has retained the rights to the agency's name. Harris has joined the faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University's Ad Center, where he is head of the school's art direction program.
Don Just, founder of Just Partners, which was acquired by Work Inc. in 2001, also has joined the school as a teacher. Just is a former CEO of The Martin Agency in Richmond.
Constantz described the founding of Watson as "an unmerger that has been amicably occurring for about a year."
In addition to Constantz, the partners in Watson are Rob Austin, former executive vice president of client services at Work and now president of Watson; Carolyn Tye McGeorge, former senior creative director at Work and now executive creative director at Watson; Kristi Ashley, former director of client services at Work and now chief operating officer at Watson; Chris Just, son of Don Just and senior art director at Work and now creative director at Watson; and Shelly Constantz, wife of Joel Constantz and former director of operations at Work now holds the same title at Watson.
Watson's clients include Riggs Bank in Washington D.C., Cendant Hotels of Parsippany, N.J., Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation and the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
Joel Constantz declined to disclose the shop's annual billings.