The news is not yet official, but sources can confirm today that 15-year Grey New York veteran and partner Ken Dowling has left the agency for an executive position at Young & Rubicam.
Grey has not made his departure public, but we hear that “over 200 people” showed up at an event to see him off earlier this week. Y&R has not announced any details regarding the hire either, but Dowling will hold a senior account role there starting this fall.
Y&R’s newest executive most recently held the EVP/partner position with Grey in New York, but he’s filled quite a few roles within the organization–and this won’t be his first time working for Y&R as he spent eight years there from the late 80s to the early 90s and ascended to the VP/management supervisor role. He then moved to McCann before joining Grey as a group account director in 1999.
Other responsibilities within Grey through the years include executive director at Grey Media North America, where Dowling helped consolidate media and channel planning operations within the larger agency. He also served as director of community and culture, handling sustainability, health & wellness, community relations and other such efforts for the agency’s employees. He was promoted to the EVP/partner position in 2012.
We hear that the Dowling hire is part of a larger shift within Y&R’s New York headquarters. The office expanded its creative team in August six months after hiring Leslie Sims (ex-McCann) as its new CCO, won U.S. Navy (previously with Campbell Ewald) earlier this year, and promoted Alex Hughes to the global CMO role in March.
More details to come.