Mr. Hadala, who will remain a shareholder, is being replaced as chief executive by the San Francisco-based shop's current chief operating officer, Tom Bedecarre.
"Rick Hadala's strategic and integration skills have been well-suited over the past year in merging companies into one and launching our successful relationship with Accenture," Mr. Bedecarre said. "However, we both believe the challenge ahead will be different."
The company also made other management shifts. One of AKQA's founders, Matthew Treagus, has been promoted to managing director of the company's Washington, D.C., office. Stephen Marino, who has been managing director of that office, becomes director of business development. AKQA's London office has also named a new managing director, Dan Norris-Jones, who has been the company's chief technlogy officer. The London post is a new position. Ajaz Ahmed remains chairman.
AKQA was formed earlier this year as a union of San Francisco's Citron Haligman Bedecarre; i-shop AKQA New Media, London; Asian shop The AdInc.; and Washington-based Magnet Interactive. The merger received $71 million in funding from Accenture and additional finacial support from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Francisco Partners.
The shop, which recently won the Visa Interactive business, has also been feeling the affects of the economic downturn. In August, the company laid off a number of employees, and there have been several other senior management departures.
Mr. Hadala had previously served for six months as CEO of the New York and North American units of Ammirati Puris Lintas, the Interpublic Group of Cos.' shop now known as Lowe Lintas & Partners. He departed that position in 1999.