Razorfish Names New Global CEO

Bob.Lord2.jpgRazorfish has promoted East Coast president Bob Lord to lead worldwide operations as global CEO. He succeeds previous chief exec Clark Kokich, who was named to the post in 2007 and will stay on as chairman.

Lord has been with the Microsoft-owned agency since its very early days. He joined in 2000, two years before its acquisition by professional services firm SBI, and four years before that company’s acquisition by aQuantive.

In addition to his East Coast leadership, Lord has also been in charge of Razorfish’s business in Latin America, where clients include Web portal giant Terra Latin America. He’ll remain based in New York.

After Microsoft agreed to buy aQuantive in 2007, some called for the parties to sell the agency division or spin it off into a separate company, an option Redmond rejected. A spokesperson said at the time, “We believe…Razorish must remain at arm’s length from Microsoft, to maintain impartiality for our clients.”

The creation of a CEO role may have helped facilitate that impartiality — or at least the appearance of it.

Razorfish employs 2,000-plus employees globally, a number that’s down somewhat compared with 2008. Several rounds of layoffs on the East Coast and West Coast have eaten into its headcount. Total staff cuts in its U.S. offices have been at least 110.

However the agency has also experienced growth, acquiring Spanish agency WYSIWYG and winning contracts from clients such as Mattel, Purina, and Starwood.

The appointment was announced during Razorfish’s ninth annual client summit in Las Vegas.

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