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