Mcgarrybowen Names New U.S. President After Losing Simon Pearce to JWT

Patrick Lafferty joins from indie agency Translation

Lafferty formerly held top roles at Translation, BBH and McCann. Mcgarrybowen
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

Dentsu Aegis Network’s mcgarrybowen announced today that Patrick Lafferty, a 25-year industry vet, is its new U.S. president, replacing Simon Pearce who left to join J. Walter Thompson as CEO of North America earlier this year.

Lafferty comes from indie agency Translation, where he served as president for about a year. He will assume the new role sometime in the spring and report to Nick Brien, CEO of Dentsu Americas, according to mcgarrybowen.

“Mcgarrybowen is our largest creative agency and we need the strongest leadership in place to drive integration in today’s complex media landscape,” Brien said in a statement. “I’m confident we have attracted one of the industry’s most experienced and talented leaders in Pat to make this happen.”

Prior to his stint at Translation, Lafferty held the title of North American CEO at BBH, where he was responsible for expanding the agency’s offerings by, most notably, acquiring digital shop Domani Studios. He also helped reverse years of decline at Sony PlayStation, an account he oversaw at BBH, and led the agency to win an Integrated Grand Prix at Cannes for its work on the launch of Netflix’s House of Cards.

Before BBH, Lafferty served as the chief operating officer of McCann North America. He also was the CMO of the Travel Channel before that and spent a decade at Leo Burnett where he worked on accounts including Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, the U.S. Army and Allstate.

“Pat is joining the mcgarrybowen family as we bring on dynamic new clients, grow our work with existing clients including Intel, Disney and United to expand our social and digital capabilities through key acquisitions like Swirl—creating an organization designed to help clients win in today’s digital world,” said Gordon Bowen, founder and global chairman of mcgarrybowen. “Pat’s experience in leading diverse teams in blending insights, brand experiences and digital solutions will be critical as we build on our recent success.”

Mcgarrybowen’s recent wins include American Express, which moved its global brand work to the agency in June in a major loss for incumbent Ogilvy.

At mcgarrybowen, Lafferty will be responsible for further driving the creative shop’s momentum and growth. He will oversee the operations of the agency’s flagship New York office as well as its Chicago and San Francisco locations.

“Mcgarrybowen is an iconic creative agency with great momentum,” Lafferty added in a statement. “I’m thrilled to come on board at this key moment to ensure we continue delivering big ideas and support the incredibly talented team of creative and strategic visionaries.”

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.