BaylessCronin ECD, President Step Down

ATLANTA BaylessCronin ecd Jerry Cronin’s resignation Friday morning was followed hours later by the departure of president Steve Bowen, the agency said.

Founding partner and ceo Tim Bayless will take on some of their duties, he said. Neither Cronin nor Bowen could be reached by press time.

Bowen joined the Atlanta-based Omnicom agency a year ago from Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, New York, and he was tasked with helping BaylessCronin win national accounts. “He made a major impact on our business,” said Bayless, noting that Bowen played a key role in helping the agency land a national broadcast creative assignment from The Discovery Channel last fall.

Bayless said Bowen’s mission at the agency had been completed, but he offered no further rationale for the executive’s departure.

Of Cronin, Bayless said, “Basically, he needs a real break and wants to take it.” Cronin will continue to work on some agency assignments and contribute to new-business pitches on a freelance basis, Bayless said. “It’s not like ‘see you in hell,’ it’s not an ‘adios,'” he said.

The resignations follow two years of decline at the shop. Revenue and billings each dipped about 8 percent last year to an estimated $5.8 million and $47 million, respectively.

Cronin, 46, left Wieden + Kennedy’s Minneapolis office in 1999 to partner with Bayless as the latter’s shop merged with Merkley’s Atlanta office. Since then, the pair produced work for a string of clients including ESPN, BellSouth, Jefferson Pilot Financial and Johnston & Murphy shoes.

This story updates an earlier item.