Fitzgerald & Co. has been bought back from Interpublic Group of Cos. by its founder and chairman, Dave Fitzgerald. The holding company purchased the agency in 1998.
McCann Worldgroup, which housed "Fitzco" (as it is referred), announced the sale of the agency on Wednesday evening but did not disclose financial terms. The company did say Fitzco would remain a part of the IPG network as an affiliate business partner.
Fitzgerald now regains ownership of the agency he founded 35 years ago. A McCann spokesperson told Ad Age that Matt Woehrmann, who succeeded Dave Fitzgerald as CEO in 2015, will be departing after he helps to transition the business.
"Matt will be helping ensure a smooth transition over the next few weeks," the spokesperson said. "He has something set but isn't announcing as his focus is helping Dave."
Fitzgerald had become chairman of the agency in 2015 when he relinquished the CEO title to Woehrmann. He will now be chairman-CEO of Fitzco. It is unclear what other leadership changes may occur as a result of this transition. Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.
"When I stepped into the chairman role in 2015, I was ready to focus on other projects in Atlanta, but the honest truth was that I missed being with the clients and the day-to-day business," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "The partnership with IPG and McCann has been terrific but the market has changed as have our clients' needs, and we now feel we would better serve the opportunities ahead of us independently."
Fitzco's clients include Coca-Cola, Checkers, Fanta, Harry's, French's condiments and MGM Resorts, among others. The agency operates out of a former slaughterhouse in Atlanta—"We don't know how many agencies can legit say the sausage is made where sausage was actually made," its website reads.