Layoffs Hit Rosetta North America

By Patrick Coffee 

When Publicis Groupe announced its plans to combine the Razorfish and Rosetta organizations last fall, many wondered when the inevitable staffing changes would arrive and how extensive they would be.

It would seem that today is the day for the latest chapter in that restructuring project, as sources tell us that news of layoffs hit offices across Rosetta North America (which is now part of Razorfish Global) this morning following Publicis’ recent Q2 review.

An agency spokesperson writes:

“As part of the growth and evolution of our business, we have made some adjustments to our staffing structure to align with current market needs.┬áThe majority of affected team members are being referred to open roles across our network.”

Changes within the newly-named org began two months after the September merger announcement, when an internal memo from then-CEO Eric Healy confirmed the departures of several Rosetta executives along with a series of promotions.

This April, Rosetta confirmed another, smaller downsizing move that allegedly affected only a small percentage of North American staffers following the Q1 review, and the following month CCO Alex Mahernia (who was rumored to replace departed chief Lars Bastholm) left to join a software startup.

The recently-promoted Healy himself left the agency earlier this month as Publicis moved partner/Rosetta West lead Tammy Soares into the role of president.

The precise scale of this particular round of staffing changes is unclear at the moment, but it follows a three-month period in which the larger Publicis organization recorded a disappointing organic growth rate of one percent. While that number fell below those of chief competitors WPP and Omnicom, Publicis still saw its total revenue increase thanks, in part, to the strength of the dollar against the Euro. (According to More About Advertising and other trade pubs, the holding company’s recent Sapient acquisition also played a large role in boosting its Q2 stats.)

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