Martin Cowie to leave Carat as agency unites Sydney and Melbourne under new CEO Peter Barrie

Martin Cowie, managing director of Carat Sydney, is departing the agency after just 19 months, the media agency said today.  

According to the statement from the company: “Martin Cowie has made the decision to leave Carat next week.” His exit is part of a bigger shakeup which sees Peter Barrie, currently MD of Carat Melbourne, promoted to CEO of Carat Australia. And Simon Ryan, only recently promoted to GM of Mediacom Melbourne after the promotion of Mark Pejic is to join as MD of Carat Melbourne.

Cowie – previously commercial director at OMD – was only appointed to Carat in February last year. That followed the “mutual decision” for previous boss Mandy Henry to depart the agency. Cowie wasn’t answering calls today.

Lee Stephens, Pacific CEO of Carat’s owner Aegis Media said: ““The key reason for these changes is to initiate a single strategy and clearer view of our business for our clients, media suppliers, and our staff. It also makes sense to have a single national structure, particularly with our plans in other Australian markets. Peter has done an outstanding job since joining Carat in 2007, and it was a natural choice for him to take over running the Carat group in Australia. A complete transition is already in progress and Peter will be relocating to Sydney on 9th October.”

He added: “Martin has done many great things for our business and we thank him and wish him well for the future.

Barrie comes mainly from a media owner background including News International and the Telegraph Group in the UK and Fairfax, APN Outdoor and Full Circle Digital in Australia.

The reshaping of Carat also saw the recent appointment of Ian Lomas as National Trading Director following a brief tenure in a similar role for Publicis Groupe’s trading arm AMX. It came after the departure of Carat’s Paul Meischke to client Yum to look after KFC.


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