Razorfish CEO Pete Stein to Leave at End of Year

Publicis Tried to Convince Mr. Stein to Stick Around, According to People Familiar With the Matter

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Pete Stein
Pete Stein

Razorfish CEO Pete Stein has plans to leave at the end of the year as Publicis Groupe undergoes a digital-agency reorganization, according to people familiar with the matter.

Razorfish and Mr. Stein declined to comment.

The news follows an announcement last month that the CEO of smaller digital shop Rosetta, Tom Adamski, would take over as global CEO of a newly created Razorfish Global network that would combine Rosetta and Razorfish.

Mr. Adamski is expected to announce a new leadership team in the coming weeks.

Mr. Stein's fate wasn't clear after Publicis announced the structural and leadership changes, including Mr. Adamski's promotion, but failed to mention Mr. Stein.

But according to people familiar with the matter, Publicis Groupe tried to convince Mr. Stein to stick around and take on a new role.

Razorfish promoted Mr. Stein from president of the East region to global CEO when former CEO Bob Lord left to join AOL as the new CEO of AOL Networks in July 2013. Mr. Stein has spent nearly two decades at the agency.

Under Mr. Stein, the shop added new business such as the Honda digital account and Peet's Coffee, with whom it crafted a completely performance-based compensation agreement.

Publicis' recent announcement also included the addition of executives to its Directoire, succession plans for CEO Maurice Levy and a new leadership plan for digital media and technology hub Vivaki. The company said media agency bosses Laura Desmond and Steve King would alternate in the role of chair of Vivaki, with Ms. Desmond going first.

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