For the first time in Redscout's 18-year history, Founder Jonah Disend is passing over his CEO baton, appointing West Coast Managing Director Colin Chow as the new chief executive of the MDC Partners agency.
Disend will assume the role of chairman, which he says will allow him to take a step back from day-to-day responsibilities, and focus more on client work and Redscout's talent, culture and internal creative projects. He adds that he has no plans to leave Redscout and hopes to continue working at the shop for a long time.
Chow, who joined Redscout in 2016, will continue working out of the San Francisco office. Last year, Chow helped Redscout's West Coast operation see nearly 60 percent growth, building relationships with brands like Airbnb, PepsiCo, Fox Sports, Gymboree, TGI Fridays and Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment.
During his first six months as CEO, Chow says, he wants to focus on Redscout's talent because "that's the heart of what make this company what it is."
Along with Chow's appointment, Redscout has named Ivan Kayser, most recently New York head of strategy, as the agency's first chief strategy officer. The shop also promoted Natalie Smith from head of client services to general manager of the New York office. Both Kayser and Smith will report into Chow.
With a new leadership team in place, Disend says he feels confident about Redscout's future.
"It's time for a new team with a new vision to take more control and for me to step back and be more of a mentor and guide," he says. Disend adds that marketers are increasingly looking for new growth opportunities, and Redscout has the capabilities to help them innovate and revitalize their brands with new products and service offerings.
Last year, Redscout began working with brands such as Airbnb, Bombas, Design Within Reach, Uber and Vox Media and expanded existing relationships with the likes of Google, PepsiCo and Kate Spade. The shop reported 40 new business wins in 2017 and 15 percent revenue growth, year-over-year.