NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Former Enfatico CEO Torrence Boone has joined Google, where he will be managing director-agency development in North America, reporting to Penry Price, VP-global agency and industry development.
Google Taps Torrence Boone to Head Agency Development
The appointment caps a six-month-long search by Google to bolster its agency-relations team after the former head of agency relations, Erin Clift, departed for AOL. Her departure followed that of Tim Armstrong, who almost a year ago left his post as head of sales for Google to become the CEO at AOL.
"Continued advertising-industry growth is essential to the future of our business, and agencies are a critical part of that growth," Mr. Price said in a statement. "Torrence's track record in the advertising industry and understanding of agency nuances position him well to help agencies succeed in creating relevant, effective and scalable advertising that engages consumers."
From enemy to friend
Google started off life as a largely self-service advertising product and only in the last five years started to turn its attentions to the big advertising agencies that wield billions of marketing dollars. It has managed to move its image among that group from that of an enemy to a friend and partner, although it still faces its share of challenges in drumming up big ad bucks from the major advertising agencies.
For one, Google's business model isn't conducive to the types of custom programs that agencies expect and want, and those kinds of programs don't scale in a way the search engine has typically operated. Google also lacks the owned-and-operated content that other big internet players have -- and agencies are used to being sold.
Mr. Boone will be based in New York and start the job January 19. He recently left Enfatico, the WPP-Dell venture he was hired away from Digitas in 2008 to lead.
Widely criticized experiment
At Enfatico, Mr. Boone presided over one of the most widely criticized agency experiments of the last decade. Dell hired WPP in 2007 to consolidate their marketing under a standalone agency but the venture rapidly fell apart and its parts have been reincorporated back into various WPP agencies. The reasons for its demise are many and varied: an overly ambitious plan to build a Dell agency from scratch, a global economic meltdown and shakeup at the client.
Despite the failed Enfatico venture, the Harvard Business School- and Stanford-educated Mr. Boone brings valuable digital-agency experience to Google. Prior to joining Digitas in 2001, Mr. Boone was VP-general manager at Avenue A (now Razorfish), New York, heading strategy, account management, media and creative services for the New York operation.
Meanwhile, Ronnie Job has been named CEO of Enfatico, succeeding Mr. Boone, though it's unclear what his duties entail as much of the agency has been collapsed into its sibling shops at WPP. Mr. Job has spent time working at Oracle, Ogilvy and AdPeople, a Scandinavian integrated-communications group.
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Contributing: Rupal Parekh