Today we hear from multiple sources that the executive exodus continues at Publicis Media’s MRY. This time it seems that chief operating officer and CFO Dan LaFontaine has left the shop after more than three years.
Readers will know that MRY has made quite a few changes in recent months since Visa consolidated its advertising business with BBDO and T-Mobile picked Swift and The Laundry Service to handle its social media and content needs after a review. Most of its executives and quite a few of its team members have departed since then.
It’s unclear why LaFontaine left, though one source tells us he resigned involuntarily.
The now-former executive has worked with CEO and lead Millennial expert Matt Britton for some time; he co-founded Britton’s CrowdTap before simultaneously serving as CFO/COO at MRY and LBi as the two organizations merged in 2013. He previously held the same dual titles at New York’s The Gate, which “specializes in handling clients that market complicated, hard to explain, define and differentiate products and services.”
We reached out to Britton for more on LaFontaine’s status, but we’ve yet to hear back.
We also have another update on recently departed MRY creative leaders: after ECD Leo Leone left to lead the Samsung team making content at Edelman New York, former CCO David Weinstock has become partner and chief creative officer at Decoded Advertising. You may recall that MRY’s onetime chief innovation officer Matt Rednor launched that operation back in March of 2015. Since then it has established a partnership with ad tech company SocialCode and, according to its LinkedIn page, currently employs between 10 and 50 people in Manhattan operating under the tagline “Creative With Purpose.” Its homepage lists clients including Dollar Shave Club and Visa and describes its purpose as “gaining efficiency without losing humanity.” We find it a little odd that Rednor recently announced that this March 10 #ByeFelicia tweet would be his last given the fact that his agency focuses on social media.
We also recently received an email from a former MRY executive who has some very strong opinions about the agency. From that email, which called our coverage both “depressing” and “puzzling”:
“When Matt & Dan inherited MRY–a company of 350 people–three years ago, Vayner Media (then 80 in size) was the closest competitor. Now MRY has 50 people and Vayner has many hundreds of employees.”
This individual, who at one time filled a top role at MRY, seems to think that the lion’s share of the blame for the agency’s current status lies with its management.
Perhaps our tipsters can provide more information.