Scales Replaces Suh as Agency.com CEO

Agency.com promoted President and COO Don Scales to its top operational post, replacing longtime Agency.com Chief Executive Chan Suh, who will continue on as chairman.

After 10 years overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency he helped found, Suh wanted to take on a more strategic role at Agency.com, a spokesperson said.

“Chan’s passion and dedication have not only impacted Agency.com, but the entire industry,” said Scales. “He is a true visionary whose foresight and experience will continue to benefit the company on many levels.”

Suh became an iconic figure in interactive advertising during his decade at the reins of Agency.com. (His co-founder, Kyle Shannon, stepped down in 2002.) Suh’s was a length of tenure virtually unheard of in the industry, and as such has occasionally been punctuated with legendary moments.

One such moment occurred in 1999, when someone in the company was reported to have accidentally emailed the entire staff a spreadsheet containing most employees’ salaries, creating a scandal in the company and considerable fodder for industry gossip. Suh quickly sent an email asking staff to delete the email and to contact him directly with any concerns.

But Suh will be remembered less for the spreadsheet slip-up than he will for his achievements, most notably turning Agency.com into one of the most successful digital agencies to emerge during the medium’s first turbulent decade. Under his watch, Agency.com had an initial public offering at the height of the dot-com craze, then became a private company again after the crash, later being brought back under the Omnicom umbrella. Most recently, it agreed to acquire assets of agency Exile on Seventh.

Don Scales, who will serve as president and CEO, has steadily climbed the ranks of the firm since joining in February 2001 as head of the Dallas office. He was eventually promoted to lead Agency.com North America, and last year was elevated again to president and COO. Earlier, he was group VP for industry consulting at Oracle and senior VP for management consulting at EDS.

“Since joining the company three years ago, Don has not only demonstrated the ability to manage and lead, but has proven that he has the vision to grow the company,” said Suh. “Don has helped shape Agency.com into what it is today, and is the ideal person to lead the company forward.”

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