Former Agency.com CEO Raids Shop

Turnabout is fair play. Three months after the former CEO’s contentious exit from Agency.com, Don Scales has recruited four ex- colleagues to join him at search marketing shop iCrossing.

The new recruits: Colin Turley, managing director; Marlin Jackson, vp of business development; Lori Wilson, creative director; and Rob Garner, senior strategic planner. All worked at Agency.com’s Dallas office, where Scales was based, and will remain in the city to help open a local iCrossing outpost, its fifth domestic office.

Scales spent three years at Omnicom Group’s Agency.com, where he served as COO from 2003 to 2004, when he was named CEO. Though credited with putting the Web shop on solid financial ground in the wake of the dot-com collapse, he left in February following a dispute with Omnicom management over aligning Agency.com with TBWA Worldwide.

The new hires will put the agency on a growth trajectory to be a leader in the fragmented search marketing and optimization industry, according to Scales, by extending expertise and account services from the agency’s Scottsdale, Ariz., headquarters. “We want to get ourselves in the position where this thing is a lot more scalable,” he said.

Agency.com and iCrossing compete in offering search services, though the focus of each shop is different. Agency.com is a full-service interactive agency, while iCrossing is nearly entirely focused on search.

Scales said the employees contacted him about coming to iCrossing after he joined. Agency.com had no comment.