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Advertising People on the Move Barton F. Graf

Barton F. Graf adds Caroline Winterton as CEO as founding members Robinson and Janness exit


By Bennett Bennett | Staff writer

April 12, 2018 | 4 min read

Barton F. Graf announced the appointment of Caroline Winterton as the agency's next chief executive, beginning May 7.

Barton F. Graf Caroline Winterton

Caroline Winterton joins Barton F. Graf as its newest CEO, as Barney Robinson and Laura Janness exit / Barton F. Graf

Winterton has been a partner at Grey, overseeing Kellogg's, Downy, Febreze, Bose and Walgreens. Prior to joining Grey, Caroline was the executive group director at TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, running McDonald’s, multiple Kraft brands and Vonage.

Winterton also spent time at Wieden+Kennedy, on Jordan brand, Motorola and Jaguar at Ogilvy, and worked client-side at Sirius/XM, with Barton's executive creative director Jeff Benjamin.

This is the second hire since January, when the independent shop brought on Droga5 vet David Cardinali as the new head of production.

Winterton said in a statement: "I couldn't be more thrilled to start this new adventure with Gerry and his amazing team at Barton F. Graf. From the moment we started discussing his vision for the future and the opportunities ahead I knew it was absolutely the right thing. The work, the clients and the spirit of the agency have always inspired me from a far, and to be a part of it going forward is a huge honor. Can't wait to start!"

This hire marked a reunion between Winterton and founder and chairman Gerry Graf, who she worked with at Ogilvy and TBWA.

Graf said: “I am very excited about this next chapter for Barton F. Graf with Caroline. She is the perfect compliment to Jeff Benjamin and myself. She has everything I’ve always looked for in a partner and CEO, most importantly, she doesn’t put up with any of my crap.“

As Winterton continues her transition, founding partner and chief executive Barney Robinson and partner, chief strategist Laura Janness have decided to leave the agency for separate new business ventures outside the industry. Robinson had been involved in Winterton’s hiring as Janness has focused on finding her own successor, who is to be announced in “the next few weeks,” said the agency.

Robinson, on his farewell said: "Gerry, Laura and I built an agency together. It is proudly creative and independent. Lots of people talk about doing this. Very few try it. Fewer still succeed. Only those who’ve done it truly understand what it demands in terms of time, energy and sacrifice. After nearly seven years, it’s simply time to try something different. I look forward to seeing what Gerry, Caroline, David and Jeff do from here. We part ways with nothing but hard-won friendship and respect."

Janness also spoke of her departure: “Working alongside Gerry Graf and Barney Robinson to help build Barton F. Graf has been the most rewarding experience of my career. I’m incredibly proud of the relationships we’ve forged, the talent we’ve recruited, the work we’ve launched and the lifelong memories we’ve created. Barton F. Graf is an independent, creative force that will continue to challenge long accepted category conventions. I will love this agency forever.

She continued, "I also want to use this as an opportunity to promise Pam Graf I remain committed to making sure Gerry is pointed in the right direction for your birthday every year.”

Graf also spoke on the two people he built the agency with back in 2011: “I can’t say enough about Barney and Laura. I have had many talented partners in my career, but I have never accomplished as much as I have with them. We are foxhole mates. We are family. Well, maybe more like step brothers and sisters. Barton would not be what it is today without them."

Advertising People on the Move Barton F. Graf

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