Magazine article ADWEEK

Souder Re-Evaluates, and Decides to Leaves Riney: President/ecd Resigns to Pursue Career in Counseling

Magazine article ADWEEK

Souder Re-Evaluates, and Decides to Leaves Riney: President/ecd Resigns to Pursue Career in Counseling

Article excerpt

NEW YORK After spending the past 20 years of his life in advertising, telling people what to think, Kirk Souder wants to spend the next 20 listening to what others have to say.

The 42-year-old art director, who joined Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco less than two years ago as president and executive creative director, told his staff last week that he is leaving at the end of the year to move his family back to Los Angeles, where he will pursue a master's degree in counseling psychology at the University of Santa Monica.

"I've become hyper-aware of how limited our time here is," he said. A cancer survivor, Souder worked with cancer patients as executive director of The Sarcoma Alliance in Mill Valley, Calif., but, while running an agency, found little time to work with the non-profit. "If there was ever a time to try something else, this is it."

The move comes a month after the arrival of new CEO Karen Francis, who was recruited by Souder. "We tried to develop a plan that would be best for the agency, allow me some time to get established here," said Francis. Formerly CEO of Ford Motor Co.'s Consumer Connect division, Francis filled a position vacated by Scott Marshall, who retired at the end of 2003. "In a fast-paced, very competitive industry, [Souder] has brought a humanity to the agency that is so recognized and so valued, I believe that will have a lasting effect," Francis said.

Group cds Jae Goodman and Jon Soto will become co-ecds. …

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