CEO Suzy Deering Leaves Moxie for the (e)Bay

By Patrick Coffee 

Certain very insistent readers will take some pleasure in the news that now-former Moxie CEO Suzy Deering has left the agency world (and the Southeast) to become chief marketing officer at the newly single eBay.

eBay made the announcement late yesterday.

According to Deering’s LinkedIn profile, this move has been in the works for a while and she has already relocated from Marietta, Georgia to the San Francisco Bay area with her family.

The release tells us that eBay, which looks to “[redefine] itself with a more aggressive focus on retailing,” hired Deering to “bring innovation, a strategic marketing perspective and passionate voice to eBay’s online and offline marketing programs.” She will report to North America SVP Hal Lawton.

Deering’s Western pilgrimage follows the long-time-coming, Carl Ichan-driven breakup of eBay and its offspring PayPal as well as a relatively tumultuous period for Moxie (which was acquired by Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media in 2006).

Deering took the reins at Moxie in late 2011 after spending more than a decade on the client side, primarily with Verizon. Much like Joe Saracino of Erwin Penland, she worked in the marketing department at the telecommunications giant before moving to the agency world and taking on her former employer as a client. (She also spent six months as VP of integrated media at Home Depot.)

Moxie began experiencing some organizational issues exactly two years ago, when Publicis acquired Columbus, Ohio’s Engauge and decided to mash the two entities into one.

Moxie had assembled a “dream team” a few months before the official word came down on Publicis’ plans, but a couple of VPs departed as the news of this lineup began to sink in. A small round of expected layoffs then followed the merger, and the new entity finally united under the Moxie name last March.

Several months later, we began to hear word of a pending strategic realignment created primarily to better serve Verizon, which was then the agency’s largest account. A couple of ACDs apparently figured out what was about to happen and left for another Atlanta agency, 22squared.

Last summer, we heard that the subsequent changes led to the elimination of approximately 50 jobs, most of which belonged to former Engauge employees. (Chairman/Engauge CEO Nick Bandy and Moxie ECD Tony Sharpe were among those dismissed.)

A couple of months after that (following more than two weeks of queries), we confirmed that Publicis had shuttered the Columbus, Ohio office that once served as Engauge’s headquarters after the newly-formed Moxie org lost its Nationwide retainer.

A few weeks later, Moxie CCO Anthony Reeves left on an “extended leave of absence,” eventually landing a global CMO gig with Carlsbad, California clothing company 2XU. The following month Verizon launched a digital review, announcing in June that it would work with R/GA and AKQA (but not Moxie) moving forward. That loss appears to have been the last straw of sorts for Deering.

We have no word on Moxie’s plans to hire a new chief executive following her departure.

We do, however, hope that the agency’s future leader will reverse its longstanding policy about refusing to respond to repeated emails and phone calls.

(eBay currently works with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for its global creative but does not officially have an agency of record.)