Dale Brown is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of Sive/Young & Rubicam in Cincinnati to try her hand at creative writing.
Taking over as president and CEO is Michael Kitei, who has been with the shop for nearly 20 years, most recently as executive vice president. He becomes only the fourth CEO in the agency's 60 years.
Brown termed her departure from advertising a "sabbatical," leaving open the option she might return to the industry, although probably not to Sive.
"I don't know if I'll like the creative writing I'm going to do," Brown said. "It has been a very long time since I've made my living writing."
Brown and Kitei were part of a management team who bought back a majority interest in the agency from Young & Rubicam in 1994. She is selling her interest back to Kitei and partners Mark Wesling, Mike Montgomery and Karen Bell.
Brown joined the agency, then Sive Associates, as CEO in 1990. She came from The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.
With a master's degree in English, Brown started her career as a freelance writer and journalist. She said she doesn't know what form her writing will take, although she said it won't concern advertising.
"I've been planning for 10 years to be in a position to choose whatever path I'd want to experiment with," Brown said.
Kitei, who headed the agency's creative department, will be replaced in that capacity by Bruce Carlson and John Nagy, who were named co-creative directors.