Razorfish Chief Strategy Officer Says Publicis Deal Will Expand Firm’s Global Reach
Yesterday was a busy day for Razorfish chief strategy officer Jeff Lanctot. With the official announcement that French advertising firm Publicis will acquire Microsoft-owned Razorfish, Lanctot had quite a lot on his plate. Despite his having to fly out from Seattle to another office, I managed to get a few answers from him about the deal and what it may actually mean for Razorfish.
Publicis is buying the digital marketing company from Microsoft for $530 million in cash and stock. “We view this deal [as] accelerating our mission of expanding our global reach and client offerings,” Lanctot said in an e-mail. But he added that even with the change in ownership, Razorfish won’t change unduly, existing as part of Publicis but operating autonomously. “Razorfish will operate as an independent entity under VivaKi, the operating unit of Publicis Groupe,” he said. This means there won’t be any big changes in management either, he added, with Bob Lord staying on as CEO with the rest of the Razorfish managers—at least in the coming weeks and months.
Publicis stands to gain a lot from the deal, with Razorfish already being one of the largest companies of its kind in the world. Acquiring Razorfish “will make Publicis Groupe a leading player in digital communications, including Search and Display,” Lanctot wrote.
Razorfish users don’t need to panic yet, even if they are concerned about how things may change, since the final transaction isn’t expected to conclude until the end of the year. “Until the deal closes, it’s business as usual,” Lanctot said.