Razorfish: Redundancies ‘unlikely’ following Publicis Omnicom merger

Razorfish: Redundancies ‘unlikely’ following Publicis Omnicom merger
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Razorfish’s global chief technology officer has told B&T that he doesn’t expect redundancies at the agency following the high-profile merger of parent company Publicis with Omnicom earlier this week.

On Monday, GroupM CEO John Steedman warned that staff numbers would likely be hit following the merger, as the new entity, Publicis Omnicom, looks for $500 million in “efficiencies”.

However, Ray Velez (pictured), global CTO at Razorfish, said that any reduction in staff as a result of the merger is unlikely to come from his agency.

"I don’t think so,” said Velez in response to any possible redundancies. "We’re in a growth area; the reason for putting our teams together is around creativity, science and technology, leveraging big data for a better experience for the client. These things are growth areas, so I don’t think there should be,” he added.

Velez, in Australia this week to help announce the rebrand of the agency, as well as launch a new book he has co-authored, Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology, said the short-term impact of the merger on individual agencies and their clients “will be relatively small”.

"The big thing that is obvious coming out of the merger is that scale will increase greatly. It will create the best of talent in the industry,” said Velez. "The biggest challenge I see is bringing together two very large organisations, and finding a structure that works well. At Razorfish we’re used to this, we’ve been bought and sold five or six times … so we’re comfortable and used to change.”

Velez also said it'll be interesting to see how brands deal with the latest line of cutting edge technology set to be released in the next year or so, in particular Google Glass.  

“It feels like it’s going to be next big thing,” he said.  “It’s just an incredidble set of new technology, but I don’t know what impact it's going to have yet.

"The easiest thing to think about [this type of technology] is that everything physical is now going to have a presence in the digital world, things like a table or door knob, you won’t have to be sitting starring at your phone or tablet.

“Then we'll have to see how brands deal with that."

Check out next week's installment of The Brief for the full interview with Ray Velez

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