Fay said Cass, a key member of Carat's management committee, had long been viewed as a likely successor, and that the decision to replace Sorokin with him was virtually a fait accompli. The biggest challenge, she says, will be finding a successor to replace him as head of the P&G business, one of Carat's most important accounts. That process has already begun, says Cass, who prior to his new role, which is effective immediately, had been executive vice president of Carat and head of communications planning for the agency, in addition to his role overseeing the P&G account.
Cass is a long-time Carat veteran, joining the Aegis Group unit in the U.K. even before Carat was operational in the U.S. He began as head of the agency's direct response media operations, and like Fay, who had overseen Carat Freeman prior to forming Carat Fusion and ultimately taking the helm of Aegis Media North America, comes out of a background steeped in the science of direct response. Prior to taking on a role in media, Sorokin was a creative director who played a role in launching seminal digital shop Grey Interactive.
"It really was more of a 'what color is my parachute' thing for Scott," Fay said of Sorokin's decision to leave the agency now. But his departure comes during a rocky period for Aegis U.S. operations, including a spotty new business record, weak billings growth, fiscal belt-tightening and a round of lay-offs.
It also is the second C-level shake-up for Aegis in North America this year, coming six months after long-time Aegis Media Americas chief David Verklin resigned, and Fay was named to succeed him. Verklin ultimately took the job of running cable TV industry addressable TV advertising project Canoe Ventures. Subsequent to Verklin's departure, Mainardo de Nardis stepped down as worldwide CEO of Aegis Media and Jerry Buhlmann was named to succeed him. Buhlmann had been CEO of Aegis Media EMEA.
In 2007, MediaPost's OMMA magazine named Sorokin one of its "Online All-Stars" in the media strategists category.