Ford’s Former Social Media Chief Takes Agency Role

Scott Monty reenters the agency world at Shift Communications

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Scott Monty, who left the Ford Motor Co. two months ago after a five-year run that made him one of the best known social media figures in the corporate world, has a new gig. The marketing veteran next week will join Shift Communications as evp of strategy.

"I will be counseling clients and offering high-level strategy," he said. "I will help with the agency's direction, including new offerings and developing seminars and training. My role will also involve bringing new business in. With the plethora of contacts I have and the [name] that I have in the space, I can get in a few doors."

Monty is a regular speaker at marketing conferences, a role that will continue. With 106,000 Twitter followers, he was instrumental in getting Ford ahead of the curve on social platforms like Facebook and Google+.

Founded in 2003, Shift has 145 employees and last year generated about $19 million in revenue. With offices in San Francisco, New York and Boston, it is best known for public relations but has also expanded into social media work in recent years. The company has done digital work for clients including McDonald's, Toyota, Whole Foods and H&R Block.

Industry observers might have expected Monty to end up at another large company post-Ford, but he dismissed the idea that going from the auto giant to Shift is a step down. "You wouldn't know they are a small agency with the impact they are having," he said.

"Scott would be a big coup even for the big guys," said Shift CEO Todd Defren. "You can work for an intergalactic-sized agency or a huge corporation and become the face of that company without having a lot of power within it. I think working here, he's going to have a real impact on how we go to market while having a big impact across a lot of clients."

It is clear the agency chief is expecting a big return on his investment in Monty. "My hope is that having someone of his caliber will bring more Fortune 1000 brands to the roster," the CEO said. "This was a guy who was standing shoulder to shoulder with [former Ford CEO] Alan Mulally for the last six years. He'll add to our credibility."

Monty isn't a stranger to agencies, having worked at PJA Advertising & Marketing as an account director from 2004 to 2007. He'll remain in the Detroit area while working for Shift.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.