When Harold Sogard retired after a long career that included stints as Vice Chairman and Partner at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Chairman of Publicis and Hal Riney, he was happy to leave the industry and enjoy his free time. But he just couldn't stay away. Now, Sogard is returning as President at the San Francisco-based creative agency the Hive Advertising.
In this newly created role, Sogard will initially focus on new business, client service and helping to position the agency to expand its presence not only in the San Francisco agency marketplace but beyond. “While The Hive has done excellent and very effective work for significant clients over the years, it remains a too-well-kept secret within the West Coast advertising community,” says Sogard. “There are lots of clients out there who could benefit from our approach. We’re truth tellers and trust-builders, and those are the vital seeds of building long-term brand relationships with consumers.”
Sogard says he was fully prepared to leave advertising after his stint as Chairman of Riney, but after being invited to sit on The Hive's advisory board, he realized he missed the action and connected perfectly with The Hive's Founder, CEO and Creative Director DeeAnn Budney. “Why leave the business when there’s this great place that does things the way I want to do them?” he said.
Size is one attractive aspect that helped drive his decision. When he started at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in 1991, the shop had approximately 40 employees and billings of about $40 million. When he left, as Vice Chairman & Partner, the shop had over 600 employees and billings in the range of $2 billion. “As an independent shop, we get to work for our clients, not for holding companies," says Sogard. "And on top of that, everyone here is not just creative but incredibly nice, too.”
Founded in 2003, The Hive Advertising's roster of clients include UCSF Medical Center, Treasury Wine Estates, Hess Collection Wines, Big Brothers and Sisters, Torani Syrups, Barbara’s Bakery and Whole Foods Market. Previously, the highest-ranking business-side executive was Anne Smith Rainey, who was Partner and Director of Client Services. She left the agency last year.