Ms. Cookson, 41, joined the agency in 1993 as an account planner in London, where she worked on businesses including Unilever and Levi Strauss. After moving to New York to head the account-planning discipline in North America, she was named to her current post in 2002.
Was first graduate trainee
Mr. Jones, 40, joined Bartle Bogle as the company's first graduate trainee in 1987, and went on to become CEO of the London office before transferring to the New York outpost. Under his management, the agency has doubled its billings from clients including Dyson, SoBe (part of PepsiCo), NYC Marketing and Miller Brewing's Miller Lite, a company spokeswoman said. Mr. Jones will assume his new role toward the end of 2007 and will likely relocate to London, the spokeswoman said.
"Gwyn has done a fantastic job in building BBH New York to the position of strength it occupies today," Simon Sherwood, the agency's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "He's already proven his value to our global and corporate initiatives by his contributions in our Global Management Group and we look forward to welcoming him into an elevated global role."
Though the shop in the past has struggled to find the same kind of dominance in the U.S. that it has in London, agency consultants said the move shouldn't be taken as a sign that Mr. Jones is losing favor. Agency consultant Leslie Winthrop of AAR pointed to Bartle Bogle's May win of the $106 million Miller Lite account as proof of the agency's recent strong performance.
"That was a big win for them in New York," she said. "BBH is doing very well. Maybe [Mr. Jones] wanted to go home and they looked to someone who got the most recent win," Ms. Winthrop said of Ms. Cookson.
'Lives and dies on strategy'
Ms. Winthrop also said it's a smart move for the agency, which "lives and dies on strategy," to promote a strategic planner to CEO.
Ms. Cookson agrees her background will be helpful her in her new role. "There are lot of core planning skills that can be useful in business leadership. Our whole approach is looking at a long-term big picture," she said.
In her new position at Bartle Bogle, Ms. Cookson said she wants to build on the progress the agency has made in the past three years. "We've got a real strength now going for us, which is quite similar to the strength BBH employs in other markets," she said. But she also said she will continue to seek out new approaches.
"If you don't approach your work with a sense of always looking to do something new, then you are probably not doing your job."