SapientRazorfish makes US redundancies amid claims the brand will be axed

Alan Wexler: chief executive of Publicis.Sapient
Alan Wexler: chief executive of Publicis.Sapient

Publicis Groupe agency SapientRazorfish has made in the region of 100 redundancies in the US this week and the Razorfish brand is reportedly tipped for retirement.

An agency spokesman confirmed it had "made the difficult decision to part ways with a small number of our people" in the US, but did not comment further on the claims reported by US trade title Adweek.

Asked whether any SapientRazorfish UK staff were at risk of redundancy, the spokesman said: "We have no active reduction in our UK workforce, in fact we are going into our highest ever hiring quarter, with 198 roles on the hiring plan."

Adweek’s sources claimed the layoffs were the begining of a larger plan to retire the Razorfish brand and fold SapientRazorfish into its parent division Publicis.Sapient, which is the digital transformation unit of Publicis Groupe.

They also said the downsizing "was intended to correct a revenue imbalance noted in [SapientRazorfish’s] forecast for the third and fourth quarters of 2018", which was due more to its digital and creative activity than its growing consulting activity.

Publicis.Sapient is headed by Alan Wexler, who was appointed chief executive of SapientRazorfish upon its creation in 2016 through the merger of SapientNitro, the company he led previously, and Razorfish.

Publicis Groupe bought Razorfish for $500m (£380m) in 2009 and Sapient, the parent company of SapientNitro, for $3.7bn in 2015.

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