Richard Funess, founding managing partner at Finn Partners, is retiring.

He will stay until the end of this month, according to an internal announcement, and then take on a counseling role. 

“It was always going to be this year,” Funess said about the timing of his departure. “I’ve been planning this for quite a while. Over a year ago, we were talking about it and Peter [Finn, CEO and founding managing partner] would laugh about it. But really, it was in the last nine to 10 months I decided I wanted to leave.”

A group of agency leaders have been assuming more responsibility, which helped the agency prepare for Funess’ departure, Finn said, “so no there is no position we’re going to be filing that he is vacating.”

When Finn formed the agency in 2011 Funess “was immediately on board, and was a key contributor to our plans,” Finn recalled. Joining the shop was an ideal opportunity because an early attempt at entrepreneurship convinced Funess that owning an agency was “not really what I was good at or wanted to do.” 

“I didn’t have to be the leader, so to speak,” he added. “I felt comfortable in the last 20 years helping support and be a big part of a business but not necessarily the person in charge.”

Funess’ relationship with Finn predates the founding of Finn Partners, when Funess was president of the Americas at Ruder Finn, where Finn was co-CEO, from 1996 to 2011. Previously, Funess was president at MS&L Worldwide. 

Funess’ post-PR plans include a move to Tucson, Arizona, and a much more relaxed schedule, though he doubts he will ever truly stop working. 

“I certainly don’t think I will be able to retire completely, though I will be relaxing a lot,” he said. “I do have a couple of ideas I want to work on having to do with podcasting. I was in broadcast way before PR. So maybe I’ll do something in that area.”

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