BOSTON—Carol Cone, founder and chairman of Omnicom-owned Cone, best known for its pioneering work in cause branding, will leave the agency effective March 31 to pursue new interests. She started Cone in 1980 and for the past five years as chairman has been engaged in new business outreach and public speaking on behalf of the agency, as well as serving as a strategic advisor on select accounts.
At the same time, the firm has hired senior vice president Patricia Hurley and director Chris Mann, who will support the agency’s cause branding discipline, as well as vice president Heather Mulcahy Breslau, who played a leadership role on several of the agency’s past cause programs, and who has strong brand marketing experience.
Cone, who says she founded Cone “to create a highly innovative company doing extraordinary work,” now plans to focus on a variety of new ventures related to social issues: a book; content development for large and small screens; and global public-private partnerships.
“Carol is an entrepreneur who successfully blended business strategy, social needs, and a strong personal passion, and we will always be grateful for the pioneering contribution she made,” says Jens Bang, president and CEO of Cone. “We are building on that strong foundation today as our agency creates a new generation of initiatives in a world that is demanding accountability, transparency, and responsibility from business.”
Hurley rejoins Cone to lead some of the agency’s largest accounts, including the American Cancer Society, after serving as a senior consultant at Cause Consulting, providing strategic counsel and program development to a variety of corporate and nonprofit organizations. She has also held leadership positions in of public relations, creative, marketing communications, and community relations at Burson-Marsteller in New York.
Mann joins Cone from the brand marketing group at New Balance, where he developed strategies for its brand, including apparel and cause-based initiatives. He also spent six years with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, where he held various event-based fundraising positions.
Mulcahy Breslau returns to Cone after serving as chief operating officer at Merida, which specializes in custom carpeting. In her seven previous years at Cone, she participated in the launch and implementation of brand marketing and cause initiatives, including the JCPenney Afterschool program and the Jockey Being Family adoption program.