Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Executive Creative Director-Partner Christian Haas said today that he is leaving the agency to pursue not-yet-determined ventures.
The agency is in discussions about the best leadership scenario for N.Y. going forward. Its biggest account, Comcast/Xfinity, which had been led out of both N.Y. and S.F. will be steered under S.F.-based executive creative directors Adam Reeves and Nick Klinkert.
Mr. Haas joined the Omnicom shop in 1996, following a seven-year stint at Organic, where he served as group creative director at the agency's San Francisco office after a role as VP-managing director in its Sao Paulo office.
While at Goodby, Creativity named Mr. Haas to its annual Creativity 50 in 2010. He was instrumental in making the shop one of the industry's top digital players, leading work for clients such as Sprint, HP, GE, Got Milk, EBay and others.
In January 2013, Mr. Haas moved east to open the shop's New York office with managing director Nancy Reyes. There, they built a team of 15 and have launched campaigns for YouTube, Google, Comcast and PledgeMusic.
Mr. Haas said that he leaves the agency in a strong position. His departure was inspired not by any ill feelings, but by a desire to do something more, he said. "Rich [Silverstein] and Jeff [Goodby] have been my mentors and family and I had a great time," he said. "I'm very proud of what we did, but it got to the point I felt I need to do something different."
Mr. Haas said he is advising a few startup clients and planning to freelance, but is in no rush to find his next full-time gig. "I want to go somewhere I feel both excited and terrified -- the feelings I had when I first joined Goodby," he said. "I'm not leaving to go somewhere. I want to try something new and I want to take my time to find it."
In response to his departure, agency founders Mr. Goodby and Mr. Silverstein sent the following memo to the agency staff:
We're sorry to report that Christian Haas, a partner and executive creative director at GS&P New York, is leaving the agency to pursue other interests.
Over the past eight years, Christian has worked on numerous award-winning campaigns for Sprint, eBay, HP, GE and milk. He was instrumental in our transformation from one of the best TV agencies in the world to one of the best interactive shops around.
In 2012, when we made our plans to open our New York office, Christian stepped forward and volunteered to help us get it started. He helped open and grow the office. He helped pitch and produce a lot of good work, including campaigns for YouTube and Comcast.
But he feels its time for a change. He's going to freelance a bit, will be helping some startups, and will take his time to find his next opportunity in New York.
As for our New York office, we continue to be committed to its success, and are bullish about the staff and opportunities.
Please wish Christian luck. He is a good friend and an extremely talented, special guy.
- Jeff, Rich, & the partners