WestWayne Loses Tech Leaders

Brewer, Davis Depart With Support Staff to Form New Agency
ATLANTA—-Two WestWayne executives have left the shop to start their own marketing communications agency.
Managing partner and director of technology marketing Jerry Brewer and director of interactive marketing Laura Davis resigned from the agency Jan. 28 and have taken roughly one-third of WestWayne’s interactive and database department with them.
Andrew Jones, recently appointed president at WestWayne in Atlanta, said, “[Brewer] sniffed out an opportunity to do something that he’s always wanted to do. I’m not precisely sure what that is.”
Jones said three WestWayne employees resigned with Brewer, followed by another six staff members last Monday, or “about a third” of the department.
Brewer said the new agency was filing for legal clearance of its name and would not divulge it, but an employee answered a phone call to the shop with “GSL Group.”
“We’re still in the marketing communications business,” Brewer, 43, said. “I’ll be doing all the things I did at WestWayne, but [this agency] will be able to take stakes in the companies we’re working with. That’s very different than anything I ever could have done at WestWayne.”
Brewer said the new entity would be able to help fund potential start-ups like dot.coms in exchange for equity stakes. He said David Hosokawa, former chief executive of Monster.com parent TMP Worldwide, was his venture’s chief backer.
“Our mission is to partner with clients to maximize their company’s value through technology marketing,” Brewer explained.
Brewer would not confirm Jones’ claim that nine people have left WestWayne to join the new shop. “Andrew’s presuming that everyone who left came here,” Brewer said. He did confirm the presence of Davis, 31, but would not indicate her title or anyone else’s position. He said the agency will hire a creative director, which could be announced as early as this week.
The staff departures coincide with WestWayne moving forward in separate agency reviews for Sports Authority and Land Rover.
“Under the circumstances, I couldn’t give notice,” Brewer said. “We had to file for a charter by a certain day. I needed to be out of employment. I know they don’t understand, but it was not a choice.”
Jones said he did not think the personnel drain would affect WestWayne’s two pitches. He expects to announce new hires and management replacements shortly.