SAN FRANCISCO: Rich Cline and Matthew Podboy, cofounders of Porter Novelli subsidiary Voce Communications, are leaving the firm.
Fellow Voce cofounder Dave Black remains with the Omnicom firm as leader of Porter’s Bay Area office and leader of Voce, a Porter Novelli spokesperson said.
"[Podboy] was not only a founder, but also a driving force for Voce’s energy and success for 18 years," said Porter Novelli CEO Brad MacAfee. "We wish [Podboy] nothing but the very best in all his future opportunities."
Podboy exited the agency in mid-November to lead comms at BlueJeans Network, a cloud-based video conference company. He started in the role – his first in-house job – on Monday.
"[Working at agencies provides] a terrific platform to get to know a bunch of technology and build relationships across the industry," Podboy said. "I’m just excited to bring that and apply it to a single brand where I can see ideas come off the whiteboard, get executed, measure them, and see them all the way through."
As VP of corporate comms at BlueJeans, Podboy said he will serve alongside the heads of solution marketing and product marketing. He will help articulate the company’s narrative as it continues its "real appetite for growth." Podboy’s position is the company’s first dedicated comms role.
Based in BlueJeans" San Francisco office, Podboy reports to CMO Rosanne Saccone. He oversees a couple of staffers.
Saccone was formerly a Voce client when she was CMO at Pentaho, which was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2015. Hitachi’s parent company, Western Digital, is a Porter Novelli client.
Cline said he plans to leave Voce in January.
When Voce Communications was acquired by Porter Novelli in 2011, the three cofounders were tasked with integrating their tech-focused shop with the Omnicom agency, Podboy said.
"There were some flat years [during the integration period], but we had growth projections with top line revenue in the $750,000 to $1 million range that we hit each year," Podboy said. "There was some great growth during the acquisition period."
In 2010, Voce had revenues of $12 million.
In addition to procuring the Western Digital business, Voce Communications was also able to win business from Citrix, Equinix, and Palo Alto Networks.
Cline, Black, and Podboy all met at Miller/Shandwick Technologies, and launched Voce in 1999.
This story was updated on December 22 to correct the time of Cline's departure from Voce.