Progressive Insurance Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Charney, responsible for campaigns featuring Flo, Dr. Rick and other iconic characters, plans to retire in 2022.
Charney's retirement was announced early to allow time for an external search for his successor. He has been CMO since 2010 and is expected to retire in January 2022, but that will depend on finding his replacement and ensuring a seamless transition, according to a company statement.
In the past 10 years Charney's campaigns have included Flo/Superstore, parenta-life coach Dr. Rick, half-man-half-motorcycle Motaur, stadium-dwelling Baker Mayfield, bumbling NFL line markers Mark &Marcus, Baby-man, Sign Spinner, and parent-leeching Rebel, according to the company.
Charney built a marketing team by combining external and internal agencies, the company said. This content pipeline feeds the company's media budget, which has more than quadrupled since Charney's arrival to become the No. 3 spender in the country. His team's marketing efforts helped the company achieve eight consecutive years of sales and prospect growth in the hypercompetitive insurance marketing category, according to Progressive.
Charney also pioneered “in-housing” creative work by establishing an award-winning internal creative shop, Ninety6, which provides the company with an efficient, speed-to-market creative alternative—lessening its reliance on outside creative agencies. When Ninety6 launched in 2011, in-house agencies were considered a rarity among large brands. Now, the in-house model is increasingly being replicated and adopted, the company said.
Before joining Progressive, Charney served as CMO at insurer Aflac, retailer QVC, and real estate aggregator Homestore.com (now Move.com), according to the company.