Y&R’s Calhoun Jumps to Schwab

Jack Calhoun, general manager of Young & Rubicam’s San Francisco office, is leaving the agency to take the top advertising position at Charles Schwab & Co.

Calhoun, 36, will succeed Leonard Short as senior vice president of brand management and advertising at Schwab, based in San Francisco. He starts Sept. 25. Short is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

Calhoun said he enjoyed his two years at Y&R, but that he couldn’t pass up the financial services company’s offer.

Calhoun joined Y&R in 1998. As general manager in San Francisco, he was responsible for more than 200 employees and more than $280 million in billings. “Jack has done a terrific job,” said agency president Austin McGhie, adding that the morale and creative work at the shop have improved recently.

“When Jack told me about this job, I just told him it’s a great opportunity,” McGhie said. “Schwab is a great business that’s been incredibly successful, and he’ll be able to go in there and help marketing play a stronger role.”

Calhoun served as group account director at Y&R before he took the job as general manager. Since then, the shop has won the Informix business and strived to improve its creative work.

McGhie said Calhoun will not be immediately replaced. The position was initially created to allow McGhie more time to focus on clients.

Prior to joining Y&R, Calhoun worked as director of account management at Citron Haligman Bedecarré in San Francisco. He has also worked for FCB Worldwide here and on the client side at Levi Strauss & Co. and Procter & Gamble.

A graduate of Purdue University, Calhoun earned his MBA at Harvard Business School.

Schwab officials said Short will work through the end of the year to help Calhoun learn his new job.

“During the last five years, we’ve seen extraordinary growth in the awareness of Schwab’s reputation and brand. That has been due in large part to Len’s leadership,” said Susanne Lyons, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Lyons said Short helped the company “emerge from its roots as a direct response marketer into a megabrand that rivals many other powerful brands.”

At Schwab, Calhoun will report to Lyons.

Schwab serves some 7.3 million active investor accounts that total $936.8 billion in customer assets.