London-based digital agency We Are Social has gone through a major leadership change, parting with its U.S. chief and general manager and promoting a new top executive in their place.
According to two parties who reached out to us, CEO Rob FitzGerald and GM Jenn Bader were let go on Friday. Today the agency, which employs more than 1,000 at offices from Munich to Sydney, named chief growth officer Ben Arnold to replace them as its new managing director.
“Both Rob FitzGerald, as CEO and Jenn Bader, as General Manager have worked hard to develop We Are Social in the U.S.,” said group CEO and co-founder Nathan McDonald. “However, together we’ve realized that the direction they wanted to take the business was different to the way we wanted to see the agency grow and evolve as part of We Are Social’s global network. As a result, we’ve agreed to part ways with Rob and Jenn.”
McDonald continued: “Ben Arnold, our Chief Growth Officer, will now lead the team in New York as Managing Director. Ben has been with us since 2013 and is well placed to continue building on the success we’ve enjoyed in New York to date. Ben will be supported by our global leadership team to ensure a smooth transition. We’re confident that the right leadership is in place to succeed in what is a crucial market for our expanding global network.”
FitzGerald joined We Are Social just over two years ago after working as president and MD of Big Fuel, another social media-focused agency. He previously held C-level roles at IPG’s Initiative and served as managing director of OMD China. Bader was a top account manager at mcgarrybowen before moving to We Are Social in 2014.
The new leader Arnold has been with the agency since 2013, when he joined as an account director after working in similar jobs at JWT New York and the Sydney offices of DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi.
The reasons behind the change are not immediately clear, as neither the agency spokesperson nor the parties who alerted us to the news provided context regarding We Are Social’s larger strategy moving forward.