Progressive Corp. said Wednesday that chief marketing officer Jeff Charney will retire after more than a decade at the insurance giant, leaving open a top marketing job in one of the most competitive industries for advertisers.
Mr. Charney, age 61, built an in-house creative agency and expanded and launched successful, humorous campaigns, often using improvisation actors, featuring creations including the saleswoman Flo and life coach Dr. Rick, who helps homeowners learn how not to become their parents.
The company said Mr. Charney is expected to stay on until January 2022, but the timing “will be dependent on finding his replacement and ensuring a seamless transition.”
“This decision has been a tough and heartfelt one, and the timing just feels right to embark on the next phase of my life,” said Mr. Charney. “Our proven Marketing team has weathered countless challenges over the past decade, however, seeing how effective they were in navigating through the world’s largest crisis—Covid-19—makes me even more confident in the timing of my decision.”
Under Mr. Charney’s tenure, Progressive’s marketing team created multiple story lines, keeping ads fresh so that consumers weren’t constantly bombarded with the same stories.
The executive previously oversaw marketing at insurance company Aflac and home-shopping network QVC.
Progressive, based in Mayfield Village, Ohio, spent $1.8 billion in 2019 on advertising expenditures. Piper Sandler analyst Paul Newsome said Progressive increased its market share during the pandemic.
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