Adam Kleinberg: CEO, Traction

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Stir (never shake) a spoonful of charisma, a jigger of positive energy and a mind as sharp as a freshly plucked lemon and you get close to the cocktail that is Adam Kleinberg. Adam is CEO and a founding partner of San-Francisco-based Traction, a creative agency with a digital core.

Adam has been at the forefront of digital since he’s been able. He was programming video games on a PET computer when he was eleven years old. Fast forward a decade and a half and Adam was writing his first blog — Outrage! — long before anyone had ever coined the term.

By the late 90s, he was pushing the envelope in digital expression as one of the leading Flash designers in San Francisco.

It was also in the late nineties that Adam met his future partners in crime, Theo Fanning and Paul Giese, at THINK New Ideas, an integrated marketing and interactive agency ahead of its time.

A few years later, Adam was recruited (along with Theo) to found the San Francisco office of Tribal DDB. Frustrated with the walled silos they found prohibiting true integration between traditional and “interactive” agencies, he and his partners decided to create an agency where everything was perceived as interactive.

And so in 2001, probably the worst time in the history of advertising agencies to start an advertising agency, Traction was born. Somehow it survived.

Never one to stray from the action, strategy and creative both benefit from a daily dose of Adam. Traction has had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s greatest brands:  AAA, Adobe, Alibaba.com, Apple, Bank of America, Bonny Doon Vineyards, CamelBak, Clos du Bois, Dolby, DriversEd.com, the Family Violence Protection Fund, Livescribe, Sun Microsystems, SAP, Virgin Mobile, Walmart.com and Web 2.0 Expo.

In 2009, Traction was named the #1 interactive agency in the United States for 2009 by BtoB Magazine.