Richard Gregory, the MD of the leading digital agency Latitude, is no longer with the Warrington-based company. He is understood to have left abruptly a few days ago together with some other senior staff.
Gregory is widely regarded as one the North’s leading digital operators and is a founder of the annual SASCon conference initiative.
Latitude was ranked 11 in the definitive Prolific North Top 50 Digital Agency 2015 edition published less than one month ago. Staff numbers were recorded as 93. The agency’s HQ is in Warrington with further offices in London and Dubai and the company is owned by Callcredit Information Group of Leeds.
Gregory, 41, joined Latitude in 2002 and has held various roles at the agency including account director, head of production, and head of search, new business manager and chief operating officer.
He was appointed managing director when former MD Alex Hoye left in 2012.
During his years at Latitude, he has both endured and enjoyed what has often been a roller-coaster ride.
The agency enjoyed stunning growth in the mid to late 2000s generating sales of £59m by 2008 before it collapsed in January 2010 having lost £10.3m inside 23 months and accruing debts of £20m plus. Gregory was himself a casualty financially and was the only former management shareholder to remain with the company, which was only saved thanks to a pre-pack administration by its private equity owner which subsequently merged Latitude with the data company Callcredit Information Group, a fellow constituent of the equity house’s UK portfolio.
Things did appear much healthier recently with turnover growing to £24m (having fallen back to £17m in 2010) for the latest financial year ending December 2013 reported at Companies House with profits having recovered to £369,000 compared to a loss of £3.7m for the 12 months ending Dec 2010.
Key clients include 1&1, Royal Mail, Haven, Parcelforce, BT and Betfred.
Gregory declined to comment on his departure.
In addition to Gregory’s departure, it is understood that the former Operations Director, Duncan Fisher, has also left Latitude. It appears that Will Lowe, the managing director of Callcredit’s marketing solutions offer, has been tasked in the immediate term with overseeing the agency.
Call Credit is controlled by the US private equity house GTCR Golder Rauner.
Today a spokesperson at the firm told Prolific North:
“Callcredit Information Group, which Latitude Digital Marketing forms part of, is currently in the process of implementing a new operating model for the business the specific details of which are due to be announced soon.”