Greg Johnson Named Chief Innovation Officer At mcgarrybowen
Greg Johnson
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Agency mcgarrybowen has named Greg Johnson its chief innovation officer. He will lead the development of new capabilities, competencies, and business models for the clients across mcgarrybowen’s three U.S. offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. 

Johnson fills what is a new role at the shop. He formerly served as chief marketing officer at Swirl, a San Francisco-based digital agency which mcgarrybowen acquired last December. At Swirl, Johnson was instrumental in extending the agency’s digital marketing potential and developing its digital product capabilities. During his tenure at Swirl, the agency doubled in size.   

Patrick Lafferty, U.S. president of mcgarrybowen, said, “Greg has a future-focused lens on how to transform the way we think about delivering value for our clients. Greg is a digital native, yet possesses a seamless ability to integrate Swirl’s strong data-driven unique digital execution with mcgarrybowen’s hallmark Big Organizing Ideas platform.” He added, “Greg has turned his skills into leading teams to customizing innovation to attract clients like Dole and Conduent.”

The agency will develop new ways to promote Dole’s healthy eating platform. Conduent, the business processing outsourcing spinoff from Xerox, will engage best of the agency’s brand building and creative platforms along with its digital prowess and media capabilities.  

Johnson started his career at Digitas where he rose to become president of agency services—setting a path for the agency’s success in its earliest days. After that, he became EVP, global director of digital innovation for McCann Erickson, leading clients and capabilities worldwide and becoming the founding director of the IPG Emerging Media Lab. Prior to Swirl, Johnson was executive creative director at William Morris Endeavor where he was the lead on the re-launch of the Polaroid brand.

Johnson has received numerous accolades and has been a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry, speaking at Cannes, CES, AdTech, to name a few. 

Johnson said, “Brands have far too long been shackled with the same marketing process and in treating clients as if they all had the same problem. We plan to take a deep dive in understanding the biggest business challenges facing marketers today and develop ways to transform brands that provide a higher return on their marketing investment.” 


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