Silver Takes Majority Stake in Indie Shop

Eric Silver, the former chief creative officer at DDB New York who left the agency last month, has taken a 51 percent stake in Amalgamated. The New York-based independent agency was founded in 2003 by Silver’s former Cliff Freeman and Partner colleagues Charles Rosen, Douglas Cameron and Jason Gaboriau.

Silver has been discussing the move with Amalgamated since March and he now becomes CCO, replacing Gaboriau, who is leaving the agency.

Silver joined DDB in February 2009, replacing then-CCO Lee Garfinkel. Prior to that, Silver had been an ecd at Omnicom sibling BBDO on accounts like FedEx and

In July, he was replaced at DDB by Matt Eastwood, the network’s top creative in Australia. That change came several months after Silver had shifted to a new business-focused role while DDB quietly searched for his replacement, according to sources. Recently, Silver has also been talking to agencies like Euro RSCG and JWT about senior creative posts, sources said.

Even before joining Amalgamated, Silver became involved in its business development. In May, he worked on the agency’s pitch for CarFMax, a company that bills itself as the country’s largest retailer of used cars. The agency won the estimated $50 million-plus assignment last week. Amalgamated’s other clients include Coca-Cola, MSG and Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s brand. Earlier this year, the company lost creative duties on Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

As for Gaboriau’s exit, the agency said he wants to “explore creative opportunities on a larger stage” and triggered the search for a new creative leader.

Rosen, who is the agency’s president, said the transition from Gaboriau has been amicable.

“Jason [Gaboriau] was very instrumental in the decision of bringing in Eric,” said Rosen. “It’s been a lovely transition. Jason is on a shoot in Chicago for [client] Qdoba [Mexican Grill] right now. He’s so committed to our agency that I don’t think he’s had time to think about what to do next.”

–with Andrew McMains