The move, first reported by Adweek on Dec. 9, will involve working with Publicis Groupe Chief Innovation Officer Rishad Tobaccowala, according to a person familiar with the matter. Pahade declined to comment on the specifics of his new role other than to say, "I hope to have more specific news sometime in January. ...The opportunity is entirely new to the industry."
Pahade was a co-founder of Beyond, which launched in 1995. The agency was acquired by WPP's Grey Global Group in 1999, and is now part of the holding company's Mediacom operation. Clients include MasterFoods, Warner Bros., Reebok, Hasbro, Cendant, and GlaxoSmithKline. Pahade was closely associated with emerging and new media initiatives at Beyond, including wireless/mobile applications, broadband video, and video gaming.
"I have been fortunate to work with outstanding people at Beyond, as well as with clients who have brilliant foresight. My reason for leaving is totally attached to what lies ahead. I wish my former colleagues only the best success," Pahade told OnlineMediaDaily.
Rob Norman, worldwide CEO of WPP's MEC Interaction--consisting of Wunderman Media, The Digital Edge, and Outrider Worldwide--is stepping in to run Beyond on an interim basis. "We are really sorry to lose Nick, and wish him well," Norman said. "He has involved me in his decision over the last few weeks, and I have begun to look at the Beyond organization to identify the right blend of skills to take things forward."
Said Dene Callas, president of Mediacom U.S.: "Nick's new role marks the official integration of Beyond and Mediacom and recognizes the expanding role and importance of the interactive world."