Digitas Appoints CFO

Digitas, a Boston Internet consulting firm, has promoted Jeff Cote to chief financial officer, replacing a post left vacant following a management shakeup late last year.

Cote, 34, joined Digitas as senior vice president and controller in February 2000 to oversee the company’s finance and accounting practices. In his new role, Cote will handle fiscal planning, internal and external reporting and investor relations. He will also help evaluate business opportunities.

“Clearly, Jeff is the best person to be our CFO,” said David Kenny, Digitas’ chairman and CEO. “He has a proven ability to scale our financial operations to keep pace with Digitas’ continued growth.”

Prior to joining Digitas, Cote was controller of The Monitor Group, where he managed financial operations, as well as due diligence and integration efforts for acquisitions. From 1989 to 1997, he was with Ernst & Young in its Tax, Audit and National Accounting groups.

Cote earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida Atlantic University. He is a CPA in Massachusetts and Florida.

Cote’s appointment fills a post that opened up in December, when the interactive agency announced management changes that involved the resignation of CFO Michael Gross.

Gross, who joined Bain Capital as managing director and CFO, said he resigned his post at Digitas for personal reasons. Cote had been the front runner in the search to fill Gross’s position.

Other leadership shakeups occurred at the time as well. Company president Kathy Biro shifted to the post of vice chairman and resigned her seat on the board of directors, in a restructuring that the firm said would support its “continuing strong growth, global expansion and thought leadership.”

Chief operating officer Michael Ward assumed Biro’s former position.

The December changes in management have been the only restructuring efforts undertaken by Digitas — a remarkable fact considering that even the industry’s highest-profile players (like New York-based interactive shop Razorfish and Chicago’s marchFIRST) have announced sizable layoffs.

Christopher Saunders, an assistant editor at internetnews.com’s Internet Advertising Report, contributed to this article.

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