Mcgarrybowen Names WPP Executive to Run Its Flagship New York Office

Angela Johnson led the Kimberly-Clark team

Johnson spent more than a decade with Ogilvy. mcgarrybowen
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Mcgarrybowen today announced that Angela Johnson will join the agency as president of its New York headquarters, starting in the new role on Jan. 2.

The executive joins the Dentsu-owned agency after more than a dozen years with WPP, where she held managing director roles at Ogilvy in London and Chicago. Most recently, Johnson spent eight months as team director for the holding company’s Kimberly-Clark division, during which time she led cross-agency work involving Ogilvy as well as JWT, Mindshare, Geometry, design agency Landor and PR firm Burston Marsteller.

According to a statement from mcgarrybowen, Kimberly-Clark’s account grew “tenfold” during the approximately eight years total Johnson worked on the business.

“I’m excited to bring this focus that [mcgarrybowen] is looking for to the New York-based team and its client base,” Johnson told Adweek. “It’s about building a culture of winning and caring.”

Simon Pearce, who has been U.S. CEO since 2015, cited Johnson’s “rich background in bringing impressive, record-breaking results for her clients and creating innovative models for cross collaboration around the globe.”

“As we celebrate a strong year for new business and growth at mcgarrybowen, we couldn’t be more thrilled than to cap the year by welcoming Angela to our agency family to help us chart the next chapter for mcgarrybowen New York,” Pearce said.

The incoming president noted that technology was her specialty during the time she led the Kimberly-Clark team, and that she will also focus on ensuring her new employer is “match fit for the future” and “plugged into the latest tech developments.” In order to help achieve that, the agency recently acquired Bay Area digital-first shop Swirl, which will be integrated into its operations across the U.S.

Johnson also said she plans to focus on bringing “some renewed vigor to the agency’s creative reputation” after what has been a relatively quiet period for mcgarrybowen. In July, New York chief creative officer Matthew Bull left the agency, with Ned Crowley taking over on a temporary basis. That move came just a month after mcgarrybowen surprised many in the ad world by winning a large portion of the American Express account away from Ogilvy without a formal review. Crowley reportedly played a key role in the win along with chairman and co-founder Gordon Bowen.

“My dad used to say, ‘You’ve got two ears and one mouth, so use them in that proportion,'” Johnson said of her first weeks in the new job. “The New York office needs a leader who will be available and give close attention to staff and clients.”

Following news of her hiring, all three of mcgarrybowen’s U.S. offices will be led by women. Johnson joins president Laurel Flatt of mcgarrybowen Chicago and managing director, executive creative director Marianne Besch in San Francisco.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.