Everett-Thorpe Joins AKQA

NEW YORK For Kate Everett-Thorp, returning to interactive advertising after the birth of her twins in January 2003 was a question not of whether but of when.

“I get so excited about it,” said the 35-year-old executive, recently named president of interactive, a new post, at independent AKQA in San Francisco.

During her time off, Everett-Thorp never completely lost touch with the business. Working intermittently on projects, she could be spotted at the playground on her cell phone, obtaining information from startup companies so she could help write their business plans.

The job offer came from a former crosstown rival: AKQA CEO Tom Bedecarre, who knew of Everett-Thorp from her days at Lot21, a San Francisco i-shop that she launched in 1998. She stayed at the company–which was sold to Aegis’ Carat Interactive in January 2002–until immediately before giving birth, last serving as chairman and chief marketing officer.

AKQA, whose clients include Visa, Microsoft and Nike, was formed in 2001 through the union of London shop AKQA, San Francisco’s Citron Haligman Bedecarre, Magnet Interactive in Washington and The AdInc in Singapore.

Bedecarre was looking to expand executive ranks at the shop, which claimed revenue of $36 million in 2003, up 20 percent from the previous year. “We’re trying to recruit a dream team, and Kate is the first part of that dream team,” he said, adding that he hopes to hire execs in e-commerce and Web development, among others.

For Everett-Thorp, who will oversee interactive advertising at all of the shop’s offices, the job is a chance to dive back into an industry that clients are now embracing. “There’s a lot less convincing going on,” she said.