Omnicom has appointed Troy Ruhanen president and CEO of TBWA Worldwide. Ruhanen succeeds Tom Carroll, who will continue as chairman of TBWA Group. Jean-Marie Dru will continue to serve as chairman, TBWA Agency Network.
Carroll has been in the CEO post since 2007. Omnicom CEO John Wren issued this statement regarding the transition: “Under the leadership of Tom Carroll, TBWA is recognized worldwide for its strong culture and award-winning creativity, At Omnicom, we place considerable emphasis on succession planning, and Tom and I have long agreed that Troy Ruhanen would be the right person to take the helm of TBWA. His experience in leading Omnicom agencies across geographies and categories makes this a seamless leadership transition that will build upon TBWA’s capabilities and reputation as one of the best in the business.”
The agency has struggled in recent years, however. Long-time client Apple has signaled its widely reported displeasure with the agency’s efforts on its behalf and there has been speculation that the computer giant will soon conduct an agency review. TBWA’s relationship with the agency goes back to the 1980’s when the agency created the iconic 1984 Super Bowl ad.
The agency has also lost business from well-known brands such as Visa, Mars and Absolut. And the shop’s
Infiniti account is currently in review and it is unlikely that the shop will hold on to the account.
Ruhanen joins TBWA from parent company Omnicom Group, where he was responsible for driving cross-agency collaboration for large Omnicom clients. Earlier, Ruhanen held multiple senior management positions at Omnicom Group agencies, including Chairman and CEO, the Americas, BBDO Worldwide. In that role, he managed BBDO’s operations in North and South America including the Proximity direct, digital and CRM agency network. Previous posts at BBDO included deputy chairman, North America and managing director, New York.