LWS Lures Salvati and Sakoda Out of Retirement

Phil Salvati and Ken Sakoda, two veteran admen who rode off into the sunset three years ago, have returned to work with some longtime associates at Lenac, Warford, Stone.

The 30-year-old Newport Beach, Calif., shop has named Salvati managing partner and Sakoda creative director, working on such accounts as Isuzu trucks, fireplace marketer Lennox Hearth Products, Kumho Tire and Farmer Boys restaurants.

The duo said they have known the principals at LWS—Ralph Lenac, Dave Warford and Don Stone—for well over 30 years. Sakoda and Salvati first worked together at Cochrane Chase Livingston, leaving in 1981 to establish Salvati, Montgomery, Sakoda, which they sold to Bozell Worldwide in 1994. They stayed on at what was then Bozell/SMS for five years and left in 1999. Bozell is now Foote, Cone & Belding in Irvine, Calif.

“I thought I’d never go back into the ad arena, but how much golf can you play?” said Salvati, 59, who said he will be charged with bringing in new business, managing accounts and “molding campaigns.” “These people have been friends for a lot of years, and when we met for lunch we started talking about working together again.”

Sakoda, 59, said his friendship with the principals also lured him to the 12-person shop, but added that he wanted to steer clear of a big-agency environment.

“I like the size of this shop,” he said. “Big agencies suck all the fun out of everything. I have found the bigger the agency, the bigger the waste. There are just two many layers at a big shop. Here the clients all get to work with the top people.”

In the past Sakoda has created campaigns for clients such as IHOP, TaylorMade Golf and Yamaha consumer electronics.

“This is really a coup for us,” said Warford, 60. “These are two very talented guys with a lot of work in consumer products. Most of our work has been b-to-b, so this will make us a lot stronger.”