DDB San Francisco Parts with CEO, Other Staff After ConAgra Move

By Patrick Coffee 

A couple of weeks ago we posted on CPG giant ConAgra moving many of the brands in its portfolio from DDB San Francisco to the Omnicom shop’s Chicago office.

The press release told us at the time that the move could be expected to affect 10-20 staffers on the West Coast, and this week we learned a bit more about that.

Beyond chief creative officer Kevin Drew Davis, who returned home to Chicago to hold the same role at Blast Radius, president/CEO Todd Grantham has been let go along with at least one ECD.

According to two employees, the total number of staffers laid off was in the 10-20 range. Several others have been transferred to other offices, most prominently DDB Chicago. Davis’s departure was unrelated to the downsizing moves, which all happened in one round.

This means DDB San Francisco is currently seeking both executive and creative leads. For the time being, North American CEO Wendy Clark and chief operating officer Valerie Bengoa are running the office with N.A. CCO Ari Weiss overseeing creative work. The only real developments since the initial post, then, are Grantham’s departure and confirmation of the round of layoffs that followed the announcement.

The former CEO joined the agency more than two years ago after serving as associate partner and director of new business at GS&P. In seeking replacements for him and Davis, we hear that DDB is looking for executives with specific experience in tech and other West Coast-focused industries.

The DDB team’s biggest clients currently include retailer BJ’s, chemical/consumer goods giant Henkel and several local organizations like The Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

An agency spokesperson declined to comment directly for this post.