Umbra Co-Founder Rowan Leaving Company

Umbra co-founder and vp/inspiration, Paul Rowan, will leave the company at the end of this year to focus on design education and mentorship.

The company said that Rowan would depart the company next year. He co-founded Umbra with Les Mandelbaum in 1979. Since then, the company’s in-house team has grown to encompass dozens of designers worldwide, as well as independent global talent.

Rowan helped developed some of Umbra’s most groundbreaking collaborative designs, the company pointed out, most notably the Oh chair and Garbo can created for Umbra by Karim Rashid, as well as some of its highest grossing designs such as the Hub mirror and Hub clock, rubber coasters and vinyl clock, and the Tug paper towel holder. The Garbo can is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design.

“Growing this company from the ground up has been a surreal adventure,” Rowan said.“I still wake up every day in awe of what we’ve accomplished. I am confident that the legacy I helped build will be continued under the leadership of Matt Carr, our vp/design. His success is the embodiment of our mission to foster emerging talent and to provide recognition for those who earn it. Matt certainly has.”