Jeff Charney, 61, CMO for Progressive Insurance since 2010, has announced his intention to retire.
Charney's expected retirement date is January 2022, but the timing will depend on finding his replacement "and ensuring a seamless transition," Progressive said in the announcement.
Progressive credits the Charney-led marketing team with helping the company achieve eight consecutive years of sales and prospect growth in the hyper-competitive insurance marketing category.
Charney built an in-house creative agency and an innovative "network" content approach to expand the company's "Flo/Superstore" through a connected cast of iconic characters — each tailored to different media channels.
In addition to the long-running Flo, her family and her sidekick Jamie, the current slate of cast members include the parental life coach "Dr. Rick," the half-man, half-motorcycle '"Motaur," bumbling NFL line markers "Mark & Marcus," the "Baby-man," and the "Sign Spinner," among others.
The company's media budget has more than quadrupled since Charney's arrival, making Progressive the third-largest media spender in the U.S.
The CMO search will be overseen by Progressive President and CEO Tricia Griffith, Charney, and Progressive's Chief Human Resource Officer, Lori Niederst, along with the company's internal executive recruiting team.
"Jeff and I have been talking about this for a few years," stated Griffith. "He wanted to leave at the top of his game, and I'm so glad he's able to do just that. He's a true pioneer in the industry with a proven track record of results through creative disruption, and his marketing leadership over the past decade will have a lasting impact on Progressive's brand, culture, and marketing team."
Charney said the timing of his decision seems right, and expressed pride in the marketing team and their accomplishments and commitment to "finishing out the year strong" while participating in the successor selection process.