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Advertising Research Foundation Announces President & CEO Barocci’s Retirement


Editor’s Note: We don’t usually do press releases here on GBB, but this one is an exception. Bob Barroci has led the resurrection of the The ARF and helped to build it into one of the most prominent and well respected thought leadership organizations in the insights industry today. He certainly deserves massive kudos for making the organization highly relevant and impactful, and for that alone this announcement deserves attention.

What also deserves consideration here is who will be the next leader of the organization? Who will build on Bob’s success while helping The ARF navigate the challenges that Ian Lewis outlined so well in his post yesterday about The ARF Industry leader Forum and the desperately needed leadership in industry transformation? Only a few organizations have the potential today to emerge to fill that void, and the ARF is certainly one of them.

Whomever follows Bob as President & CEO will be tasked with trying to fulfill that potential, and it will be a significant challenge. This can’t be a passive role; it will require a true visionary leader who will have to challenge the status quo while maintaining the best of the exceptional  legacy of this great organization. They will need to be able to work with a variety of stakeholders while inspiring confidence, and will have to be hard nosed and determined as well. It will require great business acumen, consummate political skills, industry credibility, a drive to innovate and most of all the ability to adapt and pivot in a rapidly changing new market. It’s going to be a tall order to find someone with that skill-set who isn’t already leading a successful company.

I wish the transition search team luck in finding such a person.

If you’re interested in throwing your hat in the ring here is the link to start the process:

Here is the full press release.


New York, NY (December 4, 2012) — The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has announced that President & CEO Robert Barocci will retire from his current position as soon as a successor is found. Barocci will continue with the ARF through 2013 as an executive transition specialist.

In announcing the departure, board chair Colleen Fahey Rush said, “We are all indebted to Bob for his dedication to the profession of advertising research and the advertising industry. He leaves a legacy of high quality services delivered by a dedicated staff that touches every corner of the advertising world.”

Barocci was named President & CEO of the ARF in September 2003. Prior to joining the ARF, he was Director of Communications of New School University and part of Bob Kerrey’s leadership team. Earlier, Barocci’s advertising career included 21 years with Leo Burnett culminating in the position of President of Leo Burnett International. After he left Leo Burnett, he was Founder/CEO of McConnaughy Barocci Brown and later Director of Central/East Europe for Young and Rubicam.

David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation, and President, CBS Vision is chairing the search committee. TransitionGuides of Silver Spring, Maryland is leading the search for Barocci’s successor. The position announcement is available at:


About the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF):
Founded in 1936 by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the ARF is dedicated to aggregating, creating, and distributing research-based knowledge that will help members make better advertising decisions. ARF members include more than 400 advertisers, advertising agencies, associations, research firms, and media companies. The ARF is the only organization that brings all members of the industry to the same table for strategic collaboration. The ARF is located at 432 Park Avenue South, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016, and on the web at

Media Contact:

Don Tebbe

Cofounder, TransitionGuides, Inc.

Office: (301) 439-6635, Ext 19

Fax: (301) 439-6638

SKYPE: dontebbe

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