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McGarryBowen Co-founder Stewart Owen Leaving the Agency

Owen Headed for Retirement, to be Replaced by Chicago Chief Tim Scott

By Published on .

McGarryBowen CEO-International Stewart Owen is prepping to leave the shop he co-founded in 2002 with Gordon Bowen and John McGarry.

In an internal note to staffers from Mr. Bowen, the shop's chairman and chief creative officer, it was explained that Mr. Owen "will be retiring and moving on in person, but not in spirit, from McGarryBowen." The note added that Mr. Owen will be replaced by Tim Scott, the head of the agency's Chicago office. An official departure date for Mr. Owen has not yet been pinned down, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Stewart Owen
Stewart Owen Credit: McGarryBowen

For Mr. Scott, the promotion comes with a host of new international responsibilities on top of his current post as boss of the Chicago office. It also means the challenge of managing global clients from the Windy City.

"We look forward to him bringing the magic that has helped grow our Chicago office over the past few years to the global stage," Mr. Bowen said in the note.

The move means that Mr. Bowen is now the only remaining founder at the agency, which was sold to Japanese ad giant Dentsu in 2008. Mr. McGarry stepped away from day-to-day oversight of the shop about a year ago and was given a holding company title.

The agency's first international office opened in 2010 in London. In December, Mr. Owen presided over the opening of the McGarryBowen office in Shanghai, the agency's fifth office overall and third outside the U.S. He said at the time that McGarryBowen would continue to grow but the goal was to stay nimble, not develop a complex global organization with dozens of offices.

Yet, the holding company has ambitious expansion plans for the shop, due to clients that have stated they'd like to grow with the agency into Asia and South America. It's not clear how expansion plans will change under Mr. Scott, whose office handles Disney, Kraft and Sears.

He has particularly deep ties with Kraft, which he worked with previously at DraftFCB and DDB, both in Chicago.

The agency declined comment on the moves, beyond what it stated in its memo to staff, below:

From: Gordon Bowen
Subject: Global Expansion
Date: 2 February 2013

As the McGarryBowen family expands around the world, the team that drives our growth is also expanding.

I am happy to announce that Tim Scott will be taking on the role of CEO International, replacing Stewart Owen, who will be retiring and moving on in person, but not in spirit, from McGarryBowen.

Tim will stay true to his Chicago roots and continue to help lead the office there, as well as driving our global client relationships. We look forward to him bringing the magic that has helped grow our Chicago office over the past few years to the global stage.

Working hand in hand with Tim is Jane Barratt, COO International; Jen Zimmerman, our global CSO; and Toyo Shigeta, Julie Wood, Allie Alves and Lindsey Clark who will support the expansion of the McGarryBowen family, as well as provide ongoing support and leadership for our offices and international clients.

We will be celebrating Stewart's contributions to McGarryBowen in the coming months. Please join me in congratulating both Tim and Stewart, as they undertake their respective great adventures.


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