Shakeup Continues Among Communicade Firms

Alley-based interactive agency Red Sky Interactive is hunting for two top executives, following the abrupt resignations of chief executive and chairman William Bingham and executive vice president and chief financial officer Mark Schulz.

Spokespeople from the company gave few details about the management shakeup, saying only that it was part of an effort to restructure its executive team “in order to continue delivering high quality work for our clients.”

“We believe we are doing the right thing for clients, employees and shareholders and are adapting appropriately to the current business climate,” said a spokesperson.

According to the spokesperson, president and chief operating officer Howard Belk will take on the position of acting CEO while the firm’s board of directors seeks for a replacement for Bingham. Bill Conrad, based out of Red Sky San Francisco, will serve as acting CFO.

Other executives have left in recent weeks, including Joseph Neely, senior vice president of sales and marketing, and Kurt Franke, senior vice president of client services. The company has not named replacements for the two.

Red Sky’s spokesperson declined to elaborate on the reasons for the management reorganization.

The news comes just following the resignation of executives at a related interactive shop, Razorfish. As with Red Sky, the firm saw the departure of two of its top executives — chairman and CEO Jeff Dachis, and chief strategy officer Craig Kanarik, both of whom founded the company and will continue to serve as co-chairmen.

Both Red Sky and Razorfish share a common investor — advertising agency group Omnicom’s Communicade division, which maintains an investment portfolio in interactive agencies. Omnicom has said publicly that it is planning to cut its losses by reorganizing its Communicade interactive investment unit.

While the Communicade reorganization likely entails some sort of divestiture of the unit through an agreement with venture capitalists Pegasus Partners, Omnicom spokespeople have been mum about what form the spun-out company will take. There’s also been no comment on whether the efforts at shoring up troubled Communicade are related in any way to the recent management shakeups at Razorfish and Red Sky.

Omnicom spokespeople declined to comment.

Like others in its troubled sector, the firm now known as Red Sky Interactive had been formed from mergers with and acquisitions of several smaller interactive agencies. As CEO of Alley i-shop Nuforia, Bingham oversaw its acquisition of Red Sky Interactive earlier this year. (Omnicom was an investor in both firms.)

Nuforia, in turn, had been formed in 1999 through the merger of New York-based branding and marketing shop Belk Mignogna Associates, and technology developer Net Explorer — the latter of which Bingham helmed at the time. Bingham cofounded Napier Technology Group, which acquired an interest in Net Explorer in 1996.

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