By Sarah Jones
BOSTON--Robert Petisi, co-founder of Dryden and Petisi Promotion in Westport, Conn., has resigned to become president and chief executive officer of Marketing Corp. of America.
Although the announcement came as a surprise to some employees, his business partner, Tom Dryden, said he and Petisi had been negotiating the terms of the departure for the last six weeks.
'We wish Bob nothing but the best,' said Dryden, who is agency president and executive creative officer. 'We're delighted for him, and it's great news for our company because now the clients are going to interact totally with the creative guy.'
Dryden will assume Petisi's duties and said a search would be launched to find his successor. In addition, he said he plans to rename the company Dryden Partners.
Petisi cited 'an unbelievable opportunity' as the reason for his departure. 'It's a company with a great brand name in the world of marketing services,' he said.
Petisi has also been named to the board of directors at Westport-Conn.-based MCA, the former holding company of the now defunct Ally & Gargano in New York and currently a privately held marketing services company with some 300 employees.
'Bob Petisi is a high energy, creative leader who will attract the best clients and people to our promotion practice at MCA,' said the agency's chairman, James McManus, in a statement. 'Bob will lead our business with our shared vision of 'fresh, creative marketing ideas that work' as the key to our future.'
Petisi has also recruited to MCA as vice president and account director Stephen O'Shea, Dryden & Petisi's executive vice president and director of account services.
Dryden and Petisi would not comment on the impact of Petisi's exit on the agency's clients. A tricky legal clause in Dryden and Petisi's partnership agreement makes it unclear whether or not a noncompete arrangement is warranted, according to Dryden representative Dick Daley.
Dryden and Petisi joined forces to start a sales promotion shop in 1988. The two built the agency to its size of about 20 staffers. Two years ago, Strottman, an Irvine, Calif., company that develops collateral programs for family-oriented and children's markets, bought a 50 percent stake in the shop. Recent projects include promotions for ABC-TV's The Shining and for a new flavor group for Minute Maid's soda division.
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