Digital network AKQA was bought by WPP for $540m a weeks ago and now Rei Inamoto (left), who helped to found AKQA’s New York office in 2004, has been made its boss. He was previously CCO but now takes over the rest including client services and, presumably, finance.
AKQA is important for WPP as the giant marcoms outfit has lacked a trendy creative brand in digital, its Possible Worldwide construct of sigital agencies from here and there is still struggling to establish and identity and has so far failed to lure any big new clients. New York is a key office for AKQA whose roots lie in London and San Francisco.
The digital stakes have been upped since the AKQA acquisition with Publicis Groupe’s purchase of LBi, also for $540m, to add to its lengthy digital line-up of Digitas, Razorfish, Rosetta (all of which cost north of $500m) and social specialist Big Fuel.
AKQA CEO and co-founder Ajaz Ahmed says: “We’re proud to have Rei lead the New York team as AKQA experiences continued growth and momentum. Rei has proved his capability of stimulating healthy change and progress, while preserving the enduring core values of our company. We appreciate Rei’s commitment to the work, our clients and industry leadership.”
Which might also be code for “we’re glad he hasn’t cleared off.”