Harpell Loses Martins, Hires Hall

After eight years helping Harpell/Martins & Co. grow into one of the region’s hottest midsized agencies, Fred Martins has unexpectedly split with the Maynard, Mass., shop.
Martins last week told president Pat Harpell that he had made “a personal decision” to leave, effective immediately, said Harpell. Martins may freelance or take some time off but is not believed to have found a position elsewhere, said Harpell. Martins did not return calls by press time.
Martins served as co-creative director and held a minority stake in the 60-person shop. Details of cashing him out had not been finalized at press time, said Harpell, adding that Martins signed a noncompete agreement with the agency. “He’ll be missed,” Harpell said.
Martins joined the shop in the early 1990s after a stint as a design director at Digital Equipment Corp., where Harpell had worked before founding the agency in 1982.
His role at Harpell/Martins had diminished as co-creative director David Abend, who joined the shop a year ago, took increasing control of the department. A growing disenchantment with his primarily “advisory” position likely hastened his departure, said a source close to Martins.
Separately, the shop hired Randy Hall as media director. Hall worked for three years at Holland Mark Martin Edmund in Boston, largely on interactive projects.
Hall replaces Derek Springer, who joined Tom Davis + Co. in Arlington, Mass., as associate media director, a new position at the 25-person shop.