“One of the things we believe great organizations do is democratize things from the elite,” Ahmed said. “They also take the ‘pain’ away by making what’s complex simple and counter balanc[ing] creativity and experimentation with good systems and operational excellence.” The clients that AKQA highlighted included Nike, Microsoft and Google.
Since being scooped up by WPP Group, AKQA has grown to 1,400 employees, up from about 1,100 in 2012. The company generated $250 million in revenue last year. Little has changed in day-to-day operations under its new parent, according to Creative Chief Officer and Vice President Rei Inamoto.
“WPP leaves us alone. If they were to tell us 'Here’s what you need to do,' that wouldn’t be what they bought,” Inamoto commented. “I think they liked the direction we were going in, and the direction we can help WPP take.”