Omnicom Group media shop OMD has tapped Chris Pyne for the dual role of President, OMD East, and chief strategy officer, OMD U.S. Based in New York, Pyne will report to OMD U.S. CEO Monica Karo.
In the OMD East role Pyne succeeds Kathleen Brookbanks, who is moving up to a national role as chief operating officer for OMD U.S. As CSO, he replaces Ernie Simon, who left the agency last year for a position at WPP’s GroupM.
Most recently Pyne was with MediaCom, a GroupM agency, where he was chief strategy officer and then chief product officer.
As OMD East President Pyne is tasked with day-to-day management of the client roster handled out of the region, aligning resources and talent to support media planning and buying for brands such as Pepsi, FedEx, General Electric, Toys R Us and Coty. As CSO, Pyne will provide strategic leadership across all OMD U.S. account teams, the agency said.
"Chris has a demonstrated ability to align an agency strategy with client business objectives, and a record of building and leading effective account teams," Karo said.
Of his dual role, Pyne said that “one seeds the other. It’s important to be involved on the client side, to understand their specific issues and have that connection.”
Pyne has been on the job for about two weeks. He said his move “came together quickly,” after receiving a call from Karo late last year. The two have known each other through various industry activities for a number of years and he said he jumped at the opportunity to work with her.
At MediaCom, Pyne was responsible for all planning processes and product creation, as well as for identifying and developing growth areas and opportunities, and assuring consistent quality of work across all MediaCom account teams.
Prior to MediaCom, Pyne was senior vice president, head of New York Planning at Optimedia U.S., overseeing all client planning teams in New York, and leading the agency's business development efforts nationwide. Before joining Optimedia's New York operation in 2006, he was group planning director for P&G at ZenithOptimedia London.
Pyne is the second senior media executive to leave a GroupM agency in recent days for an Omnicom Media Group unit. Sources confirmed earlier reports that Mindshare’s Andy Zonfrillo is headed to OMG to become CEO of Global trading. At Mindshare Worldwide, Zonfrillo was head of trading, commerce and new platforms.