CORRECTION: Due to erroneous information from the company, a previous version of this article stated that outgoing CEO John Coleman had sold his shares in the agency. Mr. Coleman, who is taking on the role of chairman, will begin transferring equity to employees as part of an incentive program.
The VIA Agency promoted its president, Leeann Leahy, to CEO yesterday.
Additionally, outgoing CEO John Coleman announced he will begin transferring shares in the company to employees as part of an incentive program, making the full-service agency an employee-owned company.
Ms. Leahy joined The Via Agency in 2012 as president and general manager. She was named an Ad Age Woman to Watch in 2013. Ad Age previously reported Ms. Leahy joined the agency when it won its biggest client yet, Sam's Club and launched efforts for Perdue Farms and Unilever's Klondike. According to Via, the agency grew to more than 110 employees under Ms. Leahy's leadership and added clients including Facebook, Heinz, Marriott Autograph Series, Pacific Life, TD Ameritrade, Elite Airways, Golden Corral and Proximo Spirits.
John Coleman served as CEO since founding The Via Agency in 1993 and will now serve as chairman. The Portland, Maine-based agency is headquartered in the historic Baxter Library, and clients include Three Olives, Golden Corral, Welch's, Greenpeace, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Vaseline and Shutterfly.
"I've always believed an agency should focus as much on creativity as they do on creative, and as a result of this mantra, The Via Agency has inspired its employees to have fun and produce innovative work for clients," Ms. Leahy said in a press release.