We Hear: Brian Mandelbaum Out at C-K Chicago?

By Bob Marshall 

A slew of anonymous tips in our inboxes all said that Brian Mandelbaum, Cramer-Krasselt Chicago’s VP, Digital Innovations Director “just walked out the door.” Mandelbaum, who rose to fame outside the ad industry as a contestant on season 4 of The Apprentice, had come to C-K from Saatchi & Saatchi in 2008. He worked as a VP,  group director of digital media and strategy until he assumed his current role in January of this year.

A phone call to C-K led to some confused murmuring, a full voice mailbox, more confused murmuring and some guy named Dylan who had no idea how we got his number and then dumped us off to the voice mailbox from SVP Bridget Stack. Then, we received what we believe to be an internal memo from Stack. Read the full memo below.

Update: We just got official word that Mandelbaum is “no longer with C-K Chicago.”

As some of you may already know, our colleague and friend Brian Mandelbaum has decided that the time is right for him to move on and take a new path with his career.

We are very sorry – professionally and personally – to see him go. We thank him for his significant and unique contributions to C-K in his three-year tenure. And I thank him personally for all the smart counsel he’s given me since I joined C-K. Brian was instrumental in our digital growth and the creation of so many successful digital programs for our clients. Brian’s ready to move on and asked to expedite his departure, and we agreed. So we decided to have yesterday be his last day. We will certainly miss him, and we wish him all the best.

To talk about replacing Brian, per se, is too narrow and misses our larger objective. Our staffing imperative has been and continues to be more comprehensive than a single role.

Our mission and mantra is Consumer Centric, Business Grounded Engagement Planning and Activation. And, to be consumer-centric today, you have to be digital-centric and integrated. We are committed to infusing digital perspective into all we do from insights to strategy to activation. “Digital perspective” is much, much more than technical expertise. And we are aggressively recruiting to meet this objective. By the way, we’re getting good feedback from the reps on how our model is the way it should be.

Until we get the additional staff, we proceed with business as usual. For those things that Brian was responsible for, we will getting assistance from staff in other CK offices. Folks should see me in order to do this. Please don’t reach out to other offices directly.

My door is open. Please feel free to reach out to me to chat.