Firstborn Founder Says Goodbye to Advertising

Michael Ferdman, who founded the agency Firstborn 18 years ago, is bidding his agency and the ad industry goodbye. Ferdman has been planning his exit since Dentsu Aegis acquired the shop four years ago. Since that time, he has been formulating his exit plans and grooming agency President Dan LaCivita for the role of CEO.

Of his exit, Ferdman said: "What was a real crystallizing factor in closing the Dentsu deal in February 2011 for me was that it would start my leaving, and that I'd be able to hand it off in hopefully great shape. I could literally have stopped showing up yesterday and Firstborn would be fine. That to me is the ultimate in building the right kind of business."

What will Ferdman do next? No solid plans -- but he just might open a high-end sandwich shop and name his sandwiches after Firstborn employees. He says his spicy Italian sandwich would be named the LaCivita.



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