FCB unveils new CEOs

Worldwide CEO Carter Murray on why Canada is one of the network's top shops, and what he hopes the new heads can accomplish.
Carter Tim Tyler Jon Sept. 2014

After 22 years at FCB, current president Paul Mead is planning to retire. To fill the void, Carter Murray, worldwide CEO of the FCB network has tapped two new faces to lead the Toronto office and the FCB network in Canada.

Tim Bowen will join FCB Canada on Monday as CEO, leading the agency’s Montreal office, as well as sister agency Fuel and CRM agency Rivet, while Tyler Turnbull joins FCB Toronto to lead that office alongside the recently appointed new CCO Jon Flannery. 

Bowen most recently completed a short stint at Bimm as its SVP/chief customer officer, a role he took in May. Bowen says the opportunity to move to FCB was simply too good to pass up, when asked about why the short tenure at Bimm. Prior to Bimm, Bowen managed his own consulting firm and had acted as SVP corporate strategy for Vision 7 – the holding company for agencies such as Cossette and Dare, as well as SVP, general manager at Cossette.

Murray tells strategy that Bowen’s diverse background and strong reputation in business were attractive. Over the next few months, Bowen says he plans to meet with various agency staffers to see how they can set up the organization to be best in class as individual shops, but also work together in a more fluid way, adding this role would allow him to “stretch his legs and put [his] stamp on how an organization should be run.”

Murray says he has grand ambitions for the Toronto shop. “I want to make sure we do creative work in the marketplace that people in Canada talk about, that resonates,” he says. “I expect us to be able to preform in Cannes over the next two to three years [and] I would hope we have an unfair share of creative talent at the agency.”

Turnbull, former president at Proximity Canada – a role he took last year, has a strong background in planning, having worked as the joint head of planning at Publicis Modem in London as well as a digital strategist at Publicis Modem in Toronto.

The Toronto office is one of the network’s most important offices, Murray adds. The decision to move Flannery to the CCO role from Chicago was very deliberate, he says, adding that Flannery was one of the top 10 CDs in the network globally.

When Flannery’s move to Toronto was first announced, Mead said at the time the decision to bring in the award-winning CD was largely a result of Murray’s desire to focus in on award-winning creative. Murray – who himself has only been at the network for a year – adds that refocusing on awards wasn’t the only direction for the agency, though he adds, “award-winning creative is a proof of craft, a proof of skill…Awards are important [so it is] recognized that our creative product is industry competitive, and we want to make sure we can attract and retain the best creative talent. It’s not all about awards, [though] it is a very important part of our agency.”

Murray adds that for each CEO role, he was looking for someone who enjoyed the craft of advertising, had a track-record for understanding clients’ problems and brand strategy and was a strong leader.

Mead, for his part, will meet with the duo in the coming weeks to map out a succession plan, and will determine his departure date from that.

Pictured l-r: Murray, Bowen, Turnbull, Centre: Flannery