Independent digital shop AKQA nabbed the Verizon Wireless digital account in May, and has now wooed Sung Chang, former executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather to lead the account. AKQA has already hired 30 people to help manage the Verizon account and other new business, and expects to add another 70 staffers.
"We were absolutely looking for someone specific to lead [the Verizon Wireless] account and Sung was the number one candidate from the start, especially because he was just working with Motorola," said Katy Zack, AKQA's PR manager. Zack added that Chang's reputation as a "gadget geek" added to the attraction.
While at Ogilvy & Mather, Chang led creative for Motorola and Nestlé in North America, as well as Castrol worldwide, according to his LinkedIn page. He left Ogilvy - where he was also a senior partner - in January of this year and had been doing freelance creative work when he agreed to join AKQA.
Sung also served as creative director at Red Sky Interactive from 1997 to 2001 where he worked with Kraft, Nike, Sony, and other clients.
AKQA has hired people in a variety of departments to service the Verizon account, including e-commerce, B2B, mobile interface design, and in-store digital experiences, according to Zack.
"We were notified we were selected [by Verizon] at the end of March, so we've been staffing up from the start.... We're hiring across every discipline," Zack said. The company has even added recruitment staff and is subletting space from We Work, a shared office space in the same building on Varick Street in New York.
Sung will work out of that office and report to Rei Inamoto, AKQA's chief creative officer. Other AKQA clients include Audi, Clorax, Target, and Visa.
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March 19, 2014