Henderson Hires Warren, Counton As Heirs Apparent

Henderson Advertising chairman and chief executive officer Ralph Callahan moved to insure the next generation of leadership at his $55 million Greenville, S.C., shop with the addition of Bob Warren and Ron Counton.
Warren, currently senior vice president and creative director at Atlanta’s Sawyer Riley Compton, will join Henderson as senior vice president and executive creative director. Coming from Minneapolis, where he ran his own shop, Counton has been signed as senior vice president and director of client services.
“We were looking for somebody who wasn’t just interested in coming here to improve their book or make their reel better,” Callahan said. “I wanted somebody who wanted to make their career better. And my successor was not here, so I was really looking for two people.”
Callahan found Warren through a recruiter, and during the hiring process, asked if he knew anyone to head the account side of the agency. Warren and Counton worked together at Bozell in Minneapolis some 20 years ago.
Callahan, 55, said that the duo and other equity holders will buy the agency over the next seven to 10 years. “I think that’s a fairer way to the people you’re selling to,” Callahan said.
Warren, a copywriter, joined SRC in late 1993 after top creative posts with two other Atlanta shops–Warren, Clark & Graham and Austin Kelley Advertising. The bulk of his career was spent in Minneapolis, where he worked at Campbell Mithun Esty, Bozell and Carmichael Lynch. He said it was not an easy decision to leave SRC, which in the last two years has earned national creative recognition from The One Show, the Clios and Communication Arts, among others.
SRC president Frank Compton said he will spend as long as it takes to find Warren’s replacement. Vice president and associate creative director Tony Messano will serve as interim creative director when Warren leaves in mid-April.