Last week, we wrote about The Barbarian Group interim CEO Aaron Lau taking over for Peter Kim less than nine months after he succeeded Sophie Kelly, who had served in the position since 2011, as chief executive. Multiple sources told us that Cheil Worldwide made the decision to replace Kim, but he disputed that claim in a blog post yesterday, which arrived on the heels of a Digiday article in which co-founder Rick Webb told the publication the agency is “literally being run into the ground.”
In other Barbarian news, somebody (jokingly) put the agency’s infamous “Superdesk” up for sale.
Kim wrote that when he took over as CEO last December, he was “tasked with turning an agency around that was in worse shape than anyone realized,” a statement which seems to be corroborated by the aforementioned Digiday piece.
According to Kim, “the actions we’ve taken over the past three quarters have allowed the agency to continue producing great work for global brands and left the financials cleaner and more transparent than they’ve been for many years,” and “With this phase of transformation complete, I made the decision to separate from The Barbarian Group and Cheil Worldwide.”
He added: “don’t believe everything you read in the trades. Many articles are tipped by people with personal agendas and written for today’s Gawker-engendered media environment, designed to maximize clicks, shares, and gossip. The truth is out there, but only half of it will ever make Agency Spy.”
Any enlightenment on this topic from the comments section?