Bowden steps down after 20 years with Saatchis

Derek Bowden, Saatchi & Saatchi's European chairman, is quitting

the group after 20 years.

He leaves at the end of November with no job to go to. But he insisted

this week: "I jumped. I wasn't pushed."

Bowden, who in August told Saatchis' chief executive, Kevin Roberts, of

his intention to leave, will hand over his responsibilities to Peter

Cullinane, who will add European responsibilities to his existing role

as the worldwide chief operating officer. Cullinane will continue to be

based in New York.

Bowden said: "At the age of 44, I could see out my days here or take on

another interesting and enjoyable big job. It's now or never."

A former worldwide media director of the Saatchi group, Bowden won

acclaim for steadying the London agency after the Saatchi brothers left

six years ago, taking many senior managers with them.

Bowden played a key role in acquiring Laing Henry and in bringing

Jennifer Laing back to the agency as the chairman.

It was also his decision to appoint Adam Crozier, now the Football

Association's chief executive, and Tamara Ingram as joint chief

executives. However, he attracted criticism for not acting to address

the personell and management issues only now being tackled by James


With the added cushion of a substantial payment following last year's

takeover of the Saatchi group by Publicis, Bowden said that he would

take two months off before taking another job.

"I might join a media agency or a media independent," he said. "Sport

also interests me, whether at club or governing body level. I could join

another agency but that would be a difficult decision. I'm already in a

good one."