Bye bye, Barbarian Group

the barbarian groupI took over as CEO of Barbarian Group in December 2015, tasked with turning an agency around that was in worse shape than anyone (i.e. executives, employees, clients, media, auditors, holding company) realized.

Despite the beating that the agency has taken in the media, the actions we’ve taken over the past three quarters have allowed the agency to continue producing great work for global brands and left the financials cleaner and more transparent than they’ve been for many years.

With this phase of transformation complete, I made the decision to separate from The Barbarian Group and Cheil Worldwide. Businesses require different management styles depending on the challenges they face — one size fits all doesn’t work. Now TBG needs a new leader to take its cleaned-up slate and write a new future into reality. Will it be awesome? For all of the Barbarians still on board, I hope so.

One more thing: don’t believe everything you read in the trades. Many articles are tipped by people with personal agendas and written for today’s Gawker-engendered media environment, designed to maximize clicks, shares, and gossip. The truth is out there, but only half of it will ever make Agency Spy.

But don’t worry. Everything’s gonna be awesome!

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  1. Kudos to you. In some ways, it was a thankless job, but I know all of the hard work you put in and challenges you faced. You should be proud. And I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

  2. I watched as my friend Benjamin Palmer started the agency and now I’m thinking that losing you is the almost official end of the agency. Sad, a lot of great work got done through the years and who knows maybe they’ll do some more and some other form.
    Looking forward to hearing about your next step, Peter!

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Being: Peter Kim