BOSTON: Omnicom has moved FitzGerald Communications under Fleishman-Hillard as agency founder and CEO Maura FitzGerald prepares to leave her 12-year-old firm to travel and pursue other personal interests.
Richard Kline, regional president and senior partner at Fleishman, will oversee FitzGerald's relationship with Fleishman. The CEO role will not be filled, and senior agency staff will report to Kline.
"After I sold my agency, I had a specific amount of time I was going to continue working," said FitzGerald, who added that she met her earn-out. She also cited strong cultural similarities between her firm and Fleishman.
This is not the first time Omnicom has moved FitzGerald under a larger agency. Shortly after acquiring FitzGerald in March 2002, Omnicom moved it under Brodeur Worldwide, but reversed the decision in late 2003.
Fleishman does not plan to absorb the agency because FitzGerald is "amongst the best-known and highly regarded brands in the industry," said Kline.
But not all of Fleishman's tech acquisitions have remained independent.
Northwest-based KVO Communications, acquired in 2000, was fully merged into Fleishman in 2002, and the KVO brand was dropped. Likewise, Emeryville, CA-based UpStart Communications was fully absorbed into Fleishman in 2004, after being acquired and operated as a separate entity in 1999.
Fleishman's other technology brands include Lois Paul & Partners and High Road Communications.
"This will allow everyone to work more effectively to serve our clients," said Kline. "We can take advantage of each other's expertise."
Financial terms were not disclosed when FitzGerald was acquired in 2002. But the deal did include a four-year earn-out.