Wasserman’s Laundry Service Parts With CEO Jason Stein and Lays Off 40-60 Employees

Founder to 'pursue new entrepreneurial endeavors'

Stein founded the company in 2012. Laundry Service
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Creative agency Laundry Service and its production wing Cycle went through a large-scale “restructuring” today, parting with founder and CEO Jason Stein as well as dozens of staff members.

Wasserman, the talent management company that acquired Laundry Service in 2015, confirmed Stein’s departure in a statement. It also confirmed that three leaders will succeed him: chief operating officer Jordan Fox, managing director Amy Hellickson and chief marketing officer Mike Mikho.

“Jordan, Amy and Mike are each vibrant leaders with very complementary strengths and experience,” said parent company chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman. “I have no doubt that, under their guidance and with my unconditional support, the companies will continue to grow and deliver great work.”

The trio will lead both Laundry Service and Cycle, which launched in 2016 as a separate company dedicated to the creation and production of “premium entertainment for young audiences.”

Regarding Stein, a spokesperson at a third-party PR firm hired by Wasserman to represent the agency confirmed that he “is transitioning out of LS and Cycle to pursue new entrepreneurial endeavors.” Chief creative officer Alyson Warshaw, who is married to Stein, will also be leaving.

The representatives declined to elaborate. Stein has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Two parties with knowledge of the matter offered varying estimates of the number of employees affected by the layoffs but agreed upon a general range of approximately 40 to 60 individuals.

One source attributed the downsizing to “client attrition” across multiple unnamed accounts, implying that a number of brands that previously worked with both Laundry Service and Cycle have reduced their remits in ways that eventually made a significant impact on agency operations.

Another source said her entire team had been laid off. Employees in question were reportedly given a 90-day severance and asked to leave immediately upon arriving at the agency’s Brooklyn office today. Security was onsite to ensure that the process went smoothly.

Laundry Service has earned a reputation as an agency well-versed in social media marketing while creating campaigns for such clients as Jordan, Amazon and Beats by Dre; two of its more recent account wins are Papa John’s and Lincoln Motor Company. Adweek named director of media strategy Alexis Toney as one of its 2018 Media All-Stars.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.