NEW YORK Nick Pahade, president of Publicis Groupe's Denuo consultancy and a top executive in its media unit, is leaving the company.
Pahade is joining GSI Commerce, an e-commerce and online merchant tech provider, to lead its marketing services group.
"It's an opportunity for me to go back and build a new model," Pahade said.
Publicis Groupe is the latest holding company to lose one of its top digital executives to an entrepreneurial opportunity. Earlier this week, Omnicom Group's top digital media executive, Sean Finnegan, said he would depart to join Vibrant Media, a fast-growing ad network, as chief marketing officer.
"There's a select group of people in the industry who can write their own tickets," said Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Denuo. "Nick, Sean, and a few others can write their own tickets."
Pahade was named president of Denuo in February 2006 after serving as managing director at Beyond Interactive, a digital agency he founded in 1995 while still in college. He also worked as Publicis Groupe Media's executive director of digital development. He helped guide the integration of Digitas with company agencies and oversaw the acquisition of mobile shop PhoneValley. Recently, Pahade has led the development of media management system MediaBank within Starcom MediaVest Group.
Prior to the acquisition of Digitas as 2007 began, Denuo was the cornerstone of Publicis' digital strategy. Set up under Rishad Tobaccowala, it functions as a digital media consulting firm, advising clients on emerging media and tech companies on ad strategy.
"I'm not a consultant," Pahade said. "I enjoy being in the trenches and being more hands-on."
Publicis Groupe said a search for Pahade's successor is under way.