Swirl Loses a Founding Partner

Account Services Director Roos Resigns to Pursue Consulting
SAN FRANCISCO–Saying he has tired of running an agency, Eric Roos is leaving Swirl, the Bay Area shop he helped found in late 1997.
The agency will continue with Martin Lauber as partner and chief creative director. Roos, 39, who served as partner and director of account services and planning, will remain on board while the shop looks for his replacement.
“There’s a big change in the agency business, and long-term relationships seem to be going out of vogue,” Roos said. “It’s been interesting getting to know so many different clients, but it is also dispiriting and disheartening that things have changed to the degree they have.”
Roos said he is planning a new career outside of the agency world working as a marketing consultant. “With the new economy, people can do something on their own,” he said.
“I’m happy for Eric personally and professionally,” Lauber said. “This will allow him to focus on an area of business that he’s amazing at, and we’ll use this as a way to add some interesting staff and investigate new opportunities.
“I don’t see it as a loss,” Lauber added. “If it was based on animosity, I would say it’s disappointing, but this is just based on his desire to focus on different skills.”
Swirl claimed roughly $40 million in billings last year. The agency has been aggressive in pitching dot-com clients but also works with several traditional businesses.
Roos’ departure is not expected to have a major impact on business. The agency is involved in two pitches now, and will continue building the client list. It will also expand its consulting duties along with the creative work, Lauber said.
Roos was formerly an account director at Black Rocket in San Francisco. Lauber worked at Northern Lights Interactive, San Francisco, before leaving to start Swirl. The third founder, Colin Cook, came with Roos from Black Rocket as production director.
Swirl has been successful from the start. Shortly after it opened, it was tapped to redesign all of Levi’s in-store interactive kiosks nationwide and handle several other retail tasks. K