Publicis Groupe Acquires Leading eBusiness Firm Crown Partners

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Deal to Further Strengthen Razorfish’s Robust Commerce and Retail Transformation Business

Publicis Groupe announces that it has acquired Crown Partners, a full service firm that drives commerce and content solutions.

Founded in 2001 by CEO Richard Hearn and President Mark Kennedy, Crown is made up of over 150 employees based at its headquarters in Dayton, Ohio and across US offices in New York, Dallas and Denver. The firm offers best-in-class technology to Global 2000, Fortune 500 and Emerging Enterprises, ensuring clients—which include Lands End, ASICS, Keurig-Green Mountain, GlaxoSmithKlein, St. Jude, United Technologies and David Yurman—achieve their digital goals.

Crown will be aligned with Razorfish, one of the world’s fastest growing digital and technology agencies, and will further accelerate the agency’s strong leadership and growth in commerce, marketing and content technology platform-related services.

The acquisition supports Razorfish’s commitment to identifying opportunities for business transformation that have commerce at their core. Crown’s healthy business, combined with Razorfish’s approach to creating superior integrated customer experiences on behalf of their clients, will amplify the agency’s ability to provide exceptional services to its clients.    

The Crown team will join Razorfish Technology Platform Services. Hearn will assume the position of executive lead and President of Razorfish Technology Platform Services, and will report to Shannon Denton, CEO of Razorfish North America.

Pete Stein, global CEO of Razorfish said, “We believe this is a time of great opportunity for businesses that are willing to embrace transformation. The businesses with the best and most consistent customer experience will come out on top, and the only way to win is to effectively leverage technology and data.” He continued, “Delivering this strategy on an ongoing basis requires scale. Crown will allow us to further expand on our efforts while accelerating time to market.”

Rishad Tobaccowala, chairman of Razorfish added, “The integration of Crown within Razorfish reinforces the agency’s technology capabilities in the commerce and retail space and offers increased capitalization on growth opportunities, while ensuring continued talent development and delivery of the highest quality client work.”

Hearn continued, “For the past 13 years Crown has empowered companies to use digital technologies to expedite growth, drive new business and minimize costs. Joining forces with Razorfish will give our shared clients access to unmatched innovation, depth of expertise and balance in platform-enabled professional services.”    

Razorfish and Crown will also be able to expand an already long list of successful platform implementations with mutual key partners hybris, an SAP company, and Adobe.

Carsten Thoma, president and co-founder of hybris, an SAP company said, “Crown has been a dynamic force in realizing omni-channel commerce solutions leveraging the hybris and SAP platforms.” He continued, “Together with Razorfish, we have a valued partner on the market with the innovation, experience and ambition to change the face of Commerce.”

Jim Sink, vice president, global alliances, Adobe, added, “It's exciting to think about the potential that will result from an innovative partner like Crown joining forces with a powerful Adobe global partner like Razorfish. This acquisition will further extend Razorfish's current success with providing customers the value and benefit of Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions by growing their web experience and experience-driven commerce practice."

Crown was advised by Tom O’Shea at Bentley Associates.

About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe is one of the world’s leading communications groups. The Groupe offers a full range of services and skills: digital (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi), advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events (MSLGROUP), media strategy, planning and buying (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia), healthcare communications, with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), and finally, brand asset production with Prodigious. Present in 108 countries, the Groupe employs 62,000 professionals.

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About Razorfish
Motivated and inspired by what's next, Razorfish helps its clients navigate the unknown, drive change and transform business. One of the pioneers of marketing in the digital age, Razorfish has a unique blend of technology, creativity and media at its core. The agency’s world class capabilities in strategic consulting, experience design, brand building, technology platforms, data services, retail/commerce and media services enable transformational work for clients including Delta Air Lines, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz USA, Microsoft, Nike China, Unilever and Uniqlo. Razorfish’s team of 3000+ experts spans 19 regions, including Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Razorfish is part of Publicis Groupe.

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Isabelle Brenton
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