Joe Hoke Outlines Exit Strategy

M&H Chief Taps Chris Knopf as Successor
BOSTON–Joe Hoke plans to relinquish the mantle of chief executive officer of Mintz & Hoke to president and creative director Chris Knopf. The change will take effect Jan. 1.
Hoke will stay on as chairman of the Avon, Conn., shop and continue to head its board of directors. He will also continue to oversee the agency’s overall creative strategy.
“I’ve always felt an awesome sense of responsibility for this place,” said Hoke, who co-founded the shop 27 years ago. “I’m looking forward to transferring that responsibility to Chris and having more of a chance to work with the agency people.” Hoke said he has no immediate plan to retire.
Named president in December, Knopf is looking to hire a new creative director to allow him more time to build the business.
As part of Hoke’s exit strategy, nine senior-level staffers–including Knopf, chief operating officer Mary Farrell and associate creative director Dik Haddad–will acquire an increased stake in the agency. The percentage of shares was not disclosed. Hoke will retain a controlling interest in the 50-person shop for some time.
Dick Keiler, chairman and founder of Mintz & Hoke rival Keiler & Co. in Farmington, Conn., recently unveiled a somewhat similar plan. Five agency executives will gradually buy out Keiler’s shares over the next five years until he retires.