Unsuccessful talks with GCI end in Wilson McHenry closing shop

SAN FRANCISCO: GCI Group's negotiations with tech firm Wilson McHenry (WM) have collapsed, and the latter firm has closed its doors.

SAN FRANCISCO: GCI Group's negotiations with tech firm Wilson McHenry (WM) have collapsed, and the latter firm has closed its doors.

"It was never an acquisition anyway,

said Bob Feldman, CEO of GCI. "We're not doing a deal with them."

Two of WM's clients, Convergys and Plantronics, confirmed they had been notified of the firm's closing.

Cofounder Julie McHenry said, "We were in talks with GCI ... and all the parties tried very hard to make that work. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a meeting of the minds. Given that, we decided to wind down the operations of WM."

Just prior to the news that GCI was in talks with WM, GCI laid off Martin Alintuck, MD of the San Francisco office, and Dianne Gleason, chair of the global tech practice. Asked whether the layoffs were linked to the WM deal, Feldman said, "It's peripherally related,

but he declined to give specifics.

The upheaval is just the latest for GCI's San Francisco office. After acquiring Kamer-Singer in 1999, the firm lost Greg Spector, who founded the Bay Area office in April 2000. Sam Singer, cofounder of Kamer-Singer, was then appointed MD, but left to start his own firm in January 2001.

EVP Bob Wynne, head of the corporate practice, departed in August 2001.

GCI is planning to restructure the San Francisco office and bring in new leadership. Feldman said, "In the past couple years, leaders have had to relearn how to hustle, build businesses, and be entrepreneurs."

WM had struggled in the technology downturn, closing its Silicon Valley office, and working a four-day week.

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