Sapient Corporation

Sapient Corporation
Industry Capital markets, commodity markets, government services and digital media
Founded 1990
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Alan J. Herrick (Co-Chairman and CEO)
Services Business consulting and integrated marketing services
Revenue $1.305 billion (2013)[1]
$125.22 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
11,900+ (December 31, 2013)[1]
Parent Publicis

Sapient is a marketing and consulting company that provides business, marketing, and technology services to clients. The company operates three divisions, SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets and Sapient Government Services.

On February 5, 2015, Sapient became a fully owned division of French advertising giant Publicis, in a deal valued at $3.7bn (£2.3bn).[2]

On November 17, 2016, SapientNitro was merged with sister agency Razorfish to form SapientRazorfish which will be co-led by former SapientNitro CEO Alan Wexler and Sapient Consulting CEO Chip Register.[3]


Early years

Sapient was founded on November 6, 1990. The two founders, Jerry Greenberg and Stuart Moore, met at Cambridge Technology Partners, an IT services company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The co-founders recognized the need for a different type of mindset in the IT consulting world. Sapient chose to use a fixed-term, fixed-price model for pricing projects, rather than charging on a time and materials basis. In addition, Greenberg and Moore relied on their own resources instead of venture capital to fund the company’s operations. This allowed them to keep control of the organization and set long-term strategic goals. During this period, Sapient was also an early adopter of internet-based technology, and internet-based work grew to over 70% of total revenue by 1999. Both client satisfaction and the pioneering use of the internet led to rapid growth in the period from 1992 to 2000, with revenue growing from $950,000 in 1992 to $503 million in 2000.[4]

International expansion

After a period of contraction during the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s, Sapient looked overseas to grow a substantial portion of revenue, rising over 30% in only 3 years. This growth was driven by a strategy called “Global Distributed Delivery,” which sought to capitalize on the quickly growing tech market in India to grow Sapient’s software development capabilities. The operations in India would supplement project teams globally.[4] As Sapient has sought to expand its business as a leader in an emerging market, the company has made several strategic acquisitions in its history. Sapient’s first high-profile acquisition was of Planning Group International (PGI) in 2006, which greatly expanded Sapient’s experiential marketing and UX capabilities. Another important acquisition was DCG group in 2008, which augmented its existing capital markets offerings.[5] In 2009, Sapient announced its largest acquisition; the $50 mil acquisition of The Nitro Group, which added 300 employees. This acquisition also helped define three separate business units within Sapient.[6]

History of acquisitions

Year Name Division Refs
2016 Vertiba Sapient [7]
2014 Campfire SapientNitro [8]
2014 OnPoint Government Services [9]
2014 La Comunidad SapientNitro [10]
2013 iThink SapientNitro [11]
2013 (m)PHASIZE SapientNitro [12]
2012 SecondStory SapientNitro
2011 DAD SapientNitro [13]
2011 CLANMO SapientNitro [14]
2009 Nitro SapientNitro [6]
2008 Derivatives Consulting Group (DCG) Global Markets [5]
2008 iChameleon Sapient [15]
2006 Planning Group International (PGI) Sapient [16]
2005 Business Information Solutions Sapient [17]
2000 Human Code Sapient [18]
1999 Adjacency Sapient [19]
1999 E-Lab Sapient [20]
1998 Studio Archetype Sapient [21]
1997 Exor Sapient [22]


Sapient is divided into three business units. SapientNitro is an integrated digital marketing agency. Sapient Global Markets provides business and technology services and solutions to firms in the Capital Markets and Commodity industries. Sapient Government Services offers strategic, digital, and creative services to public sector clients.

Corporate affairs

In April 1996, Sapient went public with a price of $21 a share. In the subsequent four years, share prices in the technology sector increased substantially. Sapient was no exception and its shares soared to a split-adjusted price of $550. However, the dot-com bust in late 2000 hit Sapient shares hard and they declined to a low of $0.75/share. Over the next few years, growth picked up and the share price recovered accordingly, hitting a high of $17.95 in 2014.[23]


Sapient's office in Gurgaon (SEZ), India.

Sapient’s culture has been profiled by case studies within the Harvard and Yale Business Schools as an example of leadership and organizational behavior. Sapient’s culture is built upon six core values. These values are meant to guide employee behavior and decision making. They are used in Sapient’s interview process, and form an important part of the company’s week-long initiation program called “Sapient Start.” [4]

Office space

All Sapient offices have open layouts, where it is difficult to decipher any hierarchy. Whiteboards dominate the office space and are used frequently for meetings and work plans.[24] These two characteristics of Sapient office spaces are considered a way to support the core values of the company.[25] Sapient’s offices have received global recognition for their innovative and collaborative work spaces, including the IIDA Gold Award for Corporate Office Design (Arlington, VA office).[26]


Year Name Division Refs
2014 SGS Named a Best Place to Work in the DC area by the Washington Post Government Services [27]
2014 Teresa Bozzelli named the Industry Executive Leader of the Year by AFFIRM Government Services [28]
2014 Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program named overall winner of the Excellence.Gov awards by ACT-IAC Government Services [29]
2012 NHSC Jobs Board named a finalist for the HHSInnovates award Government Services [30]
2013 Ad Age 2013 Agency Report : #1 Largest Digital Agency, US Nitro [31]
2013 Ad Age 2013 Agency Report : #4 Largest Digital Agency, Worldwide Nitro [32]
2013 Ad Age 2013 Agency Report : #2 Largest Mobile Marketing Agency, US Nitro [33]
2013 Ad Age's Agency A-List: 2013 Agency to Watch Nitro [34]
2014 Laura A. Rugarber, named by Consulting magazine as one of its “35 Under 35” Global Markets [35]
2014 Best for Project Delivery Within Budget, 2014 Energy Risk Technology Rankings Global Markets [36]
2013 Financial Technologies Forum News Technology Innovation Awards 2014: Best Consultancy for Operations, Best Regulatory Compliance Solution for Operations (CMRS) Global Markets [37]
2012 Banking Technology Awards 2012, Best Industry Infrastructure Initiative: European DataWarehouse Global Markets [38]


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report FY13" (PDF). Sapient. March 14, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  2. "Publicis Completes Sapient Acquisition". 2015-02-06.
  4. 1 2 3 Khurana, Rakesh, and Joel Podolny. "Sapient Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 405-045, September 2004. (Revised October 2005)
  5. 1 2 "Sapient to buy DCG.". 2014-04-15.
  6. 1 2 "Sapient to Buy Nitro for $50 Mil.". 2009-06-16.
  7. "Publicis.Sapient Acquires Vertiba, a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner.". 2016-03-02.
  8. "SapientNitro Moves Further into Interactive Film with Addition of Groundbreaking Creative Shop Campfire.". 2014-03-28.
  9. "Sapient Expands Government Services Footprint Through Acquisition of OnPoint.". 2014-02-10.
  10. "Award Winning Creative Agency La Comunidad Joins SapientNitro.". 2014-01-15.
  11. "SapientNitro Expands into Latin America with Acquisition of iThink.". 2013-01-16.
  12. "Sapient Acquires (m)PHASIZE, Providing Marketers with Mix Modeling Expertise to Enable Better Investment Decisions in a Fast-Changing Media Landscape.". 2013-01-10.
  13. "SapientNitro Acquires DAD.". 2011-09-08.
  14. "SapientNitro Acquires CLANMO, a Leading Mobile Agency in Europe.". 2011-07-19.
  15. "Ad Age - IChameleon Founder Will Oversee Digital Campaigns Across Asia". 2010-06-02.
  16. "Sapient Buys Marketing Agency". 2005-12-13.
  17. "Sapient Completes Acquisition of Business Information Solutions". 2005-06-07.
  19. "S.F. Net shop deal shatters price record". San Francisco Business Times. 1999-05-16. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  20. "Sapient to Acquire Leading Experience-Based Research Firm E-Lab; Combination Sets the Standard for Strategies to Shape Customer Interactions on the Internet.". 1999-09-27.
  21. "Sapient Corp. Buys Studio Archetype". AdvertisingAge. 1998-08-26. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  22. "Sapient Corporation to Acquire EXOR Technologies, Inc.; Acquisition Will Accelerate Sapient's Growth in Rapid Delivery of ERP Solutions". 1997-12-05. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  23. "Yahoo Finance". 2014-04-15.
  24. "The Art of Whiteboarding". 2011-05-23.
  25. Nagy, Andrea, Jaan Elias and Joel Podolny. "Sapient: Defining Success was both the Challenge and the Opportunity." Yale Case 06-017, November 17, 2006.
  26. "Sapient Arlington Office wins Gold at IIDA Design Awards". 2013-04-16.
  27. "Sapient - Top Workplaces". 2013-04-29.
  28. "2014 AFFIRM Leadership Award Winners". 2014-06-12.
  29. "Excellence.Gov Awards - March 24, 2014". 2014-03-24.
  30. "Jobs site among HHSinnovates winners". 2012-09-24.
  31. "Agency Report 2013 Index". 2013-04-29.
  32. "Agency Report 2013 Index". 2013-04-29.
  33. "Agency Report 2013 Index". 2013-04-29.
  34. "Agency Report 2013 Index". 2013-04-29.
  35. "Sapient Global Markets' Laura A. Rugarber named as a Rising Star in Consulting magazine's 35 Under 35". 2014-04-25.
  36. "Sapient Global Markets tops 2014 Energy Risk Technology Rankings". 2014-03-06.
  37. "FTF 2014 Winners". 2014-05-06.
  38. "European DataWarehouse Wins Best Industry Infrastructure Initiative at Banking TechnologyAwards 2012" (PDF). 2012-12-14.
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