Internal Memo Confirms Rosetta Layoffs, Promotions

By Patrick Coffee 

Rosetta tagline

Following up on yesterday’s rumors of big staffing changes at Rosetta, we’ve acquired an internal email from Eric Healy, the former SapientNitro executive who joined the agency in February and replaced Tom Adamski (now with Razorfish) as its CEO earlier this month.

In short, a large-scale executive-level shakeup did indeed occur this week, and the agency’s creative lead was not the only party who has, in the memo’s words, “decided to leave.” Departing executives include:

  • CCO Lars Bastholm
  • Head of consulting Jay Lichtenstein
  • Tech lead Grant McDougall
  • VP of UX Jason Zimmer
  • Managing Partner/PMO Jeff Thaler

The note also includes news of multiple promotions. Most prominently, North American CCO Alex Mahernia will become Rosetta’s new Global CCO.

We’ve included the full email after the jump.


We’ve made tremendous strides as an agency and gone through an incredible amount of change in a relatively short period of time. Under Tom’s leadership, we made a strategic decision to evolve our go-to-market strategy to focus on customer engagement, which led to our first major global account win with JPMorgan Chase a little over a year ago. After passing this major milestone, we’ve gone on to win significant new business from leading brands such as Kroger, Sherwin Williams, Fast Retailing, Aetna and others. And most recently, we were named to the Digital AOR roster for Samsung Global.

We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. Publicis Groupe now regularly taps Rosetta to serve as its lead digital agency for global holding-company-level client pursuits and frequently cites Rosetta in its communications.

Together we’ve put Rosetta on the map. We’ve now reached a position in the industry that many people never expected from us. And we’re just getting started. Our unique combination of strengths — across customer intelligence, technology, experiences and consulting — position us for continued growth far into the future.

One of my highest priorities as CEO is to empower each and every one of you to realize your individual potential and provide you with opportunities for career growth and development that no other agency can match. And just as important, I want to enable you to do amazing work across an equally compelling Rosetta client portfolio.

We still have a lot of work left to do to realize our potential as an agency, including continuing to strengthen and simplify our leadership and operational structures. It’s important that we act swiftly and decisively to capitalize on our momentum and set up Rosetta to succeed as part of the new Razorfish Global network.

Effective immediately, I’m making some important changes across the agency that are designed to accelerate our growth and ensure that we’re solidifying a foundation for long-term success.

*Regional Structure*

We are evolving our operational structure to a regional model divided into East and West. This model will give us a number of important advantages, both in the short and long term. First, it gives us clearer lines of reporting and optimizes our ability to share resources across clients and geographic regions. Second, it creates a consistency with the way that Razorfish operates and will allow us to collaborate more closely with teams across the network. The East region will be led by Drew Kurth, and the West region will be led by Tammy Soares.

Drew and Tammy will be working closely with our Industry Group and Business Unit leaders to ensure a coordinated and steady transition to this new model. They will communicate more in the days ahead on what changes you can expect to see and when.


Moving forward, the Rosetta ExCo leadership team includes:

Tammy Soares, Rosetta West Lead; Drew Kurth, East Region Lead; Mark Eckman, Delivery and Operations; Nigel Adams, Chief Talent Officer; Sebastian Dreyfus, Rosetta Europe; Joe Lozito, CTO and Solutions Lead; and Andy DeNecochea, Finance Lead.

Each of these leaders will report directly to me.

The Rosetta OpCo leadership team is now comprised of: Alex Mahernia, Creative; David Worth, Global Strategic Planning; Joe Lozito (serving on both ExCo and OpCo), Eli Grant, Growth Operations; Paul Elliott, Innovation; Nick Hahn, Rosetta Consulting; Jason Tabeling, POEM; Mike Chenelle, Agency Operations; Kim McFetridge, People & Culture.

ExCo is responsible for setting the growth strategy for the agency, and the OpCo is responsible for operationalizing that strategy. Each of these leaders will be responsible for driving our business forward and will be held accountable for the performance of our agency, myself included.

I am extremely grateful to the leaders who have previously served on OpCo and made important progress in driving our business forward. Each has played an important role in our growth. As I meet with our new leadership teams to clarify OpCo’s focus, we are suspending the work of our four OpCo subgroups. I want to say a special thanks to Andy DeNecochea, Mike Chenelle, Tammy Soares, Alex Mahernia, Jason Tabeling and Jeff Thaler for their leadership of these subgroups over the last few months and the impressive progress they’ve made.

*Key Departures*

Lars Bastholm, Jay Lichtenstein, Grant McDougall and Jeff Thaler have decided to leave the agency. Each has made a strong impact on Rosetta and played an important role in our evolution. I thank them for their commitment and leadership and I wish each of them the best in their future endeavors.

*Rosetta Consulting*

I have asked Nick Hahn to lead Rosetta Consulting moving forward. I’ll be working closely with Nick to ensure that Rosetta Consulting remains the tip of the spear for our customer engagement offering and to significantly grow our Consulting capabilities across the Groupe. Our vision is to grow Rosetta Consulting into a strategic “think tank” to serve all agencies across Publicis Groupe while maintaining its important place in Rosetta’s core offerings. I’m excited to work with Nick to bring this vision to life and I thank Jay for all he has done to help build Rosetta Consulting into such a powerful and important part of Rosetta’s success.


We are in the process of determining the best alignment for our Healthcare business, which could remain part of Rosetta or part of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Groupe (PHCG), following in the model of Digitas Health and Razorfish Health. Tom Adamski and Shannon Hartley have been meeting with the leadership of PHCG to identify opportunities for alignment and collaboration that best benefit our clients, our team members and the Groupe. We expect to know more in the weeks ahead about these plans and will communicate them to everyone as soon as humanly possible.


I’ve asked Alex Mahernia to lead Creative across the agency and co-lead Rosetta Labs. He’ll oversee creative-led innovation, digital and our VMG group, in addition to spearheading Rosetta’s commitment to purpose-driven creative and data-driven design. Alex will also continue to serve as steward of the Rosetta brand and continue efforts centered on a refresh of our Rosetta brand.

*Strategic Planning*

David Worth will lead a new group called Global Strategic Planning. Complimentary to Rosetta Consulting, this team will be focused on brand strategy, CRM strategy and the intersection of strategy and technology. He will be working closely with Nick and me to ensure as much collaboration as possible.

*Delivery & Operations*

Mark Eckman will lead our Delivery & Operations business units, including our Project Management function. Mark will be in touch with BU leads soon to discuss a plan and framework for finishing the year strong and heading into 2015 with a full head of steam.

*Innovation & Thought Leadership*

Paul Elliott will establish Innovation as a formal function and will co-lead Rosetta Labs. He will continue to drive our thought leadership and the development of our intellectual property, ensuring that Rosetta is known as the most innovative agency in the industry.

*Office Location Leads*

Our office leaders will include: Ram Sarma, Hamilton; Kathy Battle, New York (consolidated offices); Jason Tabeling, Cleveland; Frank Garavaglia, San Francisco; Mark Nguyen, San Luis Obispo; Alexander Ouvaroff, Los Angeles; Eli Grant, Chicago; Sebastian Dreyfus, London.

*Talent Enablement*

Our new Talent Enablement program, which has now been officially introduced to each office, is more important than ever during this transition period. Our greatest focus must be on our people, and ExCo and I are committed to this program. If you haven’t seen it, we have a Talent Enablement…Space with all relevant assets, including: FAQs, Career Manager Role & Responsibilities, the Rosetta Values, the rollout deck and the assets from the Personalized Career Conversations Workshop by Anna Pool.

*Moving Forward*

I’ll be working closely with our leadership teams and BU leads in the weeks ahead to ensure a smooth transition across all of these changes. I realize these are significant adjustments that impact our reporting structure and work streams, but we are making them to set us up for long-term success.

Change can be temporarily unsettling, but I assure you that our future is bright and we will be moving into 2015 with our foot clearly on the gas. It’s important that we all work together to implement these changes thoughtfully and collaboratively.

Your BU lead should be able to answer any questions you may have about how these changes impact you. If you have additional questions or need further clarification about any of these changes, you are welcome to reach out to me directly. I’m excited about our future and our unique position in the marketplace. I’m truly looking forward to what we are going to achieve together in 2015.


Eric Healy