2 Top Execs Out at AKQA

A year after Citron Haligman Bedecarré was merged into global marketing company AKQA, two of the agency’s co-founders are leaving, according to CEO Tom Bedecarré.

Chief strategic officer Kirk Citron and chief creative officer Matt Haligman will be replaced by a six-person management team that includes Bedecarré, who will continue as CEO. He said Haligman and Citron made a “personal decision” that comes at “a time of successful reorientation of AKQA, following a tough year for every firm in the sector.”

The new team also includes Christine Bensen, media director; Heather Clifton, account planning director; Jennifer Michalek, director of business development; Glen Sheehan, creative director; and Stuart Sproule, director of client services.

The San Francisco shop, which has a staff of 145, had a rough 2001. Billings fell 22 percent to $337 million after it lost the $10-15 million Scudder Weisel Capital account and existing clients cut spending. The agency handles Palm Inc. and in 2001 picked up Visa Interactive and Macys.com, among others.

Citron referred questions to the agency. Haligman did not return calls.

Ajaz Ahmed will continue as chairman of AKQA from the London office. In a statement, Ahmed said he was “delighted that the future management of our San Francisco office is in place so that AKQA can bring continued success to our clients through creativity and innovation.”