WestWayne Readies Interactive Overhaul

BOSTON Rounding out a significant overhaul of its management team, West Wayne has named John Rich evp, interactive communications.

He joined the independent shop in Atlanta from Interpublic Group’s TM Advertising in Dallas, where he was vp, interactive creative director.

WestWayne intends to revamp its digital offering on all fronts, from creative strategies to Web site development and CRM.

“Digital will be a part of the core fabric of the agency, and in John we have found a creatively driven, passionate player who will build and implement a world-class offering,” said WestWayne CEO Richard Ward, who had promised to make digital media a cornerstone of the shop’s rebuilding effort.

Rich added, “It’s great to be with an organization that approaches the build-out of an integrated digital department as though it were blank sheet of paper, showing commitment to creating and crafting a practice that will grow and change as technology changes.”

During his tenure at TM, Rich helped build the digital practice of the agency. His clients there included American Airlines, Nationwide, Subaru and Verizon. (Todd Connelley now serves as TM’s interactive creative director.)

Ward, formerly a high-tech consultant, joined the shop in March, seven months after the departure of former CEO Jeff Johnson. Ward quickly hired former BellSouth executive Alan Blount as vp, direct marketing, a move intended to open new revenue streams. Other recent new hires include: Jane Matthews and Cici Kelly as vps, directors of business development; and svps David White and Lisa White, who respectively head planning and account services.

WestWayne was particularly hard hit by the late 2005 departure of SunTrust’s $40 million account, which ranked among the shop’s largest pieces of business.

Billings in 2005 were up 5 percent to roughly $500 million, while revenue rose 3 percent to $51 million.