(Updated 1:16 p.m. PST)
WME agent and board member John Fogelman plans to leave the agency to start a company of his own, but he is not certain when he will leave, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap Thursday. (On Wednesday night, Fogelman denied to TheWrap that he was leaving the agency; initial report is below.)
According to the insider, Fogelman will stay on at WME until he firms up his plans.
The insider told TheWrap that Fogelman remains on good terms with WME and that WME expects that his clients will remain at the agency.
Fogelman was a member of the team that lured the toymaker Hasbro from rival agency CAA in 2007. Hasbro has a "key man" clause in its agreement with WME, allowing the company to break its deal with WME under certain conditions. But Hasbro works closely with WME CEO Ari Emanuel and is expected to stay.
As is the usual practice, only corporate clients have contracts. Fogelman's other clients, including Michael Bay and J.J. Abrams, are free to leave or stay as they please. Fogelman is expected to encourage them to stay at WME.
A spokesman for WME declined to comment on the situation.
Top WME agent John Fogelman denied a published report he is leaving the agency on Wednesday night, but declined to give TheWrap further details.
Vulture reported that the agent, who represents J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay and the toy company Hasbro — and is a member of the WME board — plans an amicable separation and is switching from Hollywood to Wall Street.
When asked to confirm the news he was leaving, Fogelman emailed TheWrap: "I'm not."
When asked to explain whether the report had any credence, he did not respond except to write: "What is vulture?"
Meanwhile a spokesman for the agency declined numerous attempts to get clarity about Fogelman's status.
Fogelman joined the William Morris Agency in 1992, when WMA acquired the Triad Agency. In 2000, he was promoted to head of the motion picture talent department and in 2002, to co-head of motion pictures worldwide.
In 2003, when Fogelman was 37, he was elected to the William Morris Agency's board of directors.
At William Morris, he represented Courteney Cox Arquette, Eric Bana, Kieran Culkin, Claire Forlani, Tyrese Gibson, Whoopi Goldberg, Topher Grace, Tom Green, Dylan McDermott, Neal McDonough, Suzan-Lori Parks, Mekhi Phifer, Roland Suso Richter, Mark Ruffalo, Rodrigo Santoro, Chloe Sevigny, Martin Short, Stephen Sommers and Kevin Spacey.
In 2009 — just after William Morris merged with Endeavor — Fogelman committed a snafu by faxing a confidential William Morris memo detailing the salaries and stock apportioning of William Morris's top agents, executives and board members from 2007. TheWrap obtained the fax and published its contents. (Here's TheWrap's scoop.)
Fogelman is a former accountant who worked at KPMG Peat Marwick in 1987, leaving three years later to pursue an MBA at the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.