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CEO Lee Garfinkel Is Leaving the Ad Industry, as FCB Names New Executive Leadership Team

Office adds 'New York' to its name

(L. to r.) CCO Ari Halper, CEO Karyn Rockwell and CSO Deb Freeman Image courtesy of FCB Global

Today, Lee Garfinkel announced he will press pause on his storied career in advertising, stepping down from his position as CEO of FCB Garfinkel after just over two years, as the agency rechristens itself FCB New York and installs a new team of executive leaders across departments.

Moving forward, Karyn Rockwell will serve as CEO of FCB New York. She currently holds the evp, global account director title overseeing the Mondelez business for IPG agencies FCB and The Martin Agency.

Earlier this month, FCB global chief creative officer Susan Credle hinted to Adweek that her network would be making major creative hires in North America—and today, FCB also announced that it has named Ari Halper, formerly with Grey, to replace outgoing CCO Eric Cosper.

The two newest executives join Deb Freeman, whom FCB also poached from Grey Group last month to serve as its chief strategy officer, part of FCB's new leadership team in Manhattan. The trio will officially take the reins of the rechristened FCB New York on March 1.

Prior to joining FCB in May, Rockwell held executive positions at Co:Collective and J. Walter Thompson, where she served as global business director. She has also worked in management and accounts at such agencies as McCann, DDB and Chicago's now-defunct CCFC. Halper formerly served as executive creative director at Grey New York, where he led last year's controversial work for advocacy group States United to Prevent Gun Violence in which he and his Grey team opened a fake gun store in downtown Manhattan.

Garfinkel, who became CEO at what was then Draftfcb in 2013 after serving as global creative lead and chairman at Havas, will remain with the agency for the next three months to better facilitate the transition. He will then take a break after spending more than 35 years in the advertising industry. The move follows a conversation in which Garfinkel told global CEO Carter Murray of his desire to spend more time on his personal passion projects including the work he has created as a playwright and songsmith.

Garfinkel also supports the executives' decision to rename FCB's New York operations given the pending conclusion of his leadership.

The announcement, which effectively serves as a relaunch of FCB's New York office, also marks Credle's first big stateside move since assuming the lead creative role within the FCB network in January. Leo Burnett North America has yet to name a new chief creative officer to replace her nearly nine months after she first announced her departure.

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