Atlanta independent agency Fitzco has hired David Matathia to lead strategy. He begins on February 22.
Matathia will return to Fitzco, having previously led strategy at the agency from 2016 to 2019 before departing to serve for two years as svp, strategy director at GSD&M. While there, Matathia filled a hybrid strategy and account lead role—he ran the Pizza Hut account and led strategy for Southwest Airlines.
In his new role at Fitzco, Matathia will oversee brand and social strategy for a client roster that includes French’s, Cholula, Hilton, MedExpress, Southern Company, Checkers and Rally’s and the State of Georgia. During his first stint at the agency, he worked on many of those accounts, as well as with numerous existing agency leaders. Of the decision to come back, Matathia told Adweek that he’s enthusiastic about taking on the role of building out the department and contributing to the agency’s future.
“I’m ready to help shape an agency in addition to the client work,” he said, also noting that Fitzco’s full-service offerings and unique client roster drove his decision.
The agency’s relatively new independent status contributed to the move, too.
Interpublic Group owned Fitzco until 2020, when its CEO Dave Fitzgerald came out of retirement to buy back the agency from the holding company. Since the buyback, Fitzco has grown revenue by 50%, added 20 employees, retained all of its clients and acquired analytics firm Constant Analytics.
“I’m delighted to have David back on our team,” said Fitzgerald in a statement. “His national brand experience, creative chops, history of building superb strategy teams and desire to shape Fitzco for the long term is the exact combination we were looking for.”
Matathia will focus on building out Fitzco’s strategy team—a challenge he conquered once before during his previous term at the agency.
Matathia lives in Atlanta and plans to regularly work in the Fitzco office there. Part of what makes Fitzco unique, he said, is its location. “I think Atlanta is a great story. I think it’s an under-appreciated market. I think it’s a big selling point for folks.”