Managing Director Exits Yahoo! Incumbent

NEW YORK Elizabeth Talerman, managing director of Soho Square, is leaving the shop less than six months after it was formed by WPP Group to pitch Yahoo!’s estimated $40 million account, a client representative confirmed.

Soho Square was created in late spring, after Yahoo! launched a review that included the incumbent, Havas’ Black Rocket Euro RSCG in San Francisco, and WPP’s Young & Rubicam in New York, which was cut early on. Soho Square went on to win the account in August.

Replacing Talerman is Alda Abbracciamento, who most recently led her own consultancy and before that, steered the private client portion of the Merrill Lynch account at J. Walter Thompson in New York, the client rep said.

Talerman, who previously was president of her own marketing consulting firm, Talerman + Partners, said she is planning to start a new agency later this month. She declined to elaborate about her departure from Soho Square.

“Working with Yahoo! has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Talerman. “Yahoo! chief marketing officer Cammie Dunaway is exactly the right leader to bring the brand new places and has an astounding team. Bar none, this is the best client I have ever worked with.”

At New York’s Soho Square, Abbracciamento, who has also worked for The Martin Agency, will lead the multi-disciplinary team assembled by Talerman. “We are happy with the depth of the team they’ve built,” the Yahoo! representative said. Two recent additions include Steve Silver and Curtis Melville, former Saatchi & Saatchi creative directors who in May 2002 launched their own San Francisco agency, silvermelville.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco-based Internet company moved its media account to WPP’s Mindshare from Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media, sources said [Adweek Online, Oct. 29].