Droga5 has given the pink slip to about 40 staffers in New York, approximately 5% of its total agency, in what what the shop calls its first mass reduction in the agency's 12-year history.
"Droga5 has made the difficult decision to reduce its workforce in New York by approximately 5% in order to reshape the business in line with current business demands. We express our gratitude to the effected employees for their many contributions to Droga5," says an agency spokesperson.
There is no word on whether any high-level executives have lost their positions and some departments, including public relations staffers and creative, appear to be unaffected.
Outwardly the agency appeared to show few signs of looming troubles. This fall, Droga5 New York elevated Tasha Cronin and Justin Durazzo to the newly created roles of co-directors, interactive, to oversee the 18-person interactive branch of the production department. Head of IT Jennifer Candelario was promoted to the newly created role of chief information officer, which at the time, the agency said served as "a reflection of the agency’s expansion to nearly 700 employees in its New York headquarters and the infrastructural needs for the agency and its clients."
In addition, the agency strengthened its creative and design departments by adding Brandon Pierce, ex-72andSunny NY, and Amee Shah, ex-BBH NY, as group creative directors and promoted Dino Sanchez and Anna Fine to executive designer director and design director, respectively. Resident designers Rich Greco and Devin Croda were also elevated to group design directors.
On the business front, sources speaking on background to Adweek confirmed that Mattress Firm and Tencent have significantly reduced their remits with Droga5, though they technically remain clients.
The agency spokesperson declined to say whether further staff reductions are upcoming. While unrelated, this current workforce overhaul follows the recent firings of COO Ted Royer and London ECD Rick Dodds for what the agency has termed inappropriate behavior.