MDC Partners global CMO among those laid off last week

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The MDC Innovation Center in Manhattan.
The MDC Innovation Center in Manhattan. Credit: Courtesy MDC Partners

MDC Partners' global chief marketing officer was among the holding company's leadership cuts last week, according to an SEC filing.

Bob Kantor.
Bob Kantor. Credit: MDC Partners

Executive VP and Global CMO Bob Kantor "mutually agreed to separate his employment" as the company's CMO, effective July 24, according to the filing. Contingent on his "delivery of an effective separation and release agreement," Kantor will be eligible to receive severance benefits described in his employment agreement for a "termination without cause."

MDC's April 2018 proxy statement said Kantor "successfully led the Company's new business initiatives, and significantly surpassed targeted performance goals with several global account wins across the Company's agency network." As a result, MDC gave Kantor a 2017 cash bonus of $500,000. His 2017 total compensation including salary, bonus, stock awards and all other compensation was $1,284,919, according to the document.

As part of his employment agreement, Kantor was entitled to severance equal to one year's salary, which is $550,000 for 2018. His unvested restricted stock grants also vested on termination of his employment agreement; they had a fair value equal to $422,500 as of December 2017.

Kantor was MDC's fourth highest-paid executive in 2017, behind Chairman-CEO Scott Kauffman, CFO David Doft and General Counsel Mitchell Gendel.

According to his biography on MDC's website, Kantor was formerly CEO of Publicis New York and president of Lowe & Partners NA. He also founded Rotter Kantor, an integration communications company, and a green marketing platform called Hanger Network.

Kantor could not be immediately reached for comment. MDC Partners declined to comment.

Last week, Ad Age first reported that MDC had laid off members of its leadership team. The cuts affected around five members of the holding company's leadership team, according to people familiar with the situation. The holding company's website lists 16 leadership roles. MDC Partners' total corporate employees number around 80.

"Our MDC colleagues are truly family, and they represent some of the best in the business," chief communications officer Alex Delanghe Ewing said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"As we look to the future and refine the structure of our organization to best support our clients and agency partners, we made the difficult decision to part ways with a small handful of individuals within our corporate team."

MDC Partners' portfolio includes agencies such as 72andSunny, Anomaly, Assembly, Colle McVoy, Doner, KBS and The Media Kitchen.

In May, MDC Partners chairman and CEO Scott Kauffman said the advertising holding company's first-quarter results were "unacceptable," citing some client cutbacks and slower conversion in its new-business pipeline as it reduced its 2018 financial targets,

MDC Partners is scheduled to report second quarter and first-half earnings on Aug. 2.

Contributing: Bradley Johnson

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