Multiple Executives Out at AKQA

By Patrick Coffee 

Worldwide chief creative officer Rei Inamoto and New York general manager Rem Reynolds are no longer with AKQA as of today. Contrary to earlier reports, CFO Lester Feintuck has not left the agency. He will, however, move into a different role within the larger WPP organization later this year.

The agency confirmed the changes with a statement:

“Rei Inamoto and Rem Reynolds are no longer with our New York office. International Managing Director Giles McCormack, who has been with AKQA for over 7 years, will now lead the New York team.”

Multiple sources close to the matter tell us that the reasons behind the change are a general decline in revenue for the WPP agency and disagreements among top executives. While AKQA has recorded some big wins in recent months–chief among them digital AOR duties for Volvo–we hear that total reported revenue for the organization’s offices around the world has been lower in recent years and that Sir Martin Sorrell has registered his disapproval.

Sources also confirm that AKQA recently lost portions of the Nike business to R/GA in both Europe and the United States.

Aside from account concerns, Inamoto reportedly had plans to launch his own spinoff agency with backing from WPP; AKQA principals did not approve.

Inamoto was promoted to the CCO role in November 2014 after co-founder/CCO James Hilton left to launch AtelierStrange, a London-based design firm that creates “furniture, lighting and objects.”

International managing director Giles McCormack will take over for Reynolds in New York, but at the moment we have no word on the agency’s plans to replace Inamoto.