4As' EVP Mike Donahue received a standing ovation at the opening session of the organization’s Transformation Conference in Austin this morning after the group’s president, Nancy Hill, announced he would be leaving at the end of the month.
Donahue has been in charge of the organization’s strategic partnerships and has also overseen the annual Transformation conference, as well as media services and other industry outreach initiatives.
He was also closely involved in the development of Ad-ID, the advertising identification code.
Before he joined the 4As, Donahue’s career included account management roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and its predecessor agency, Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of both agencies.
A video tribute of Donahue was shown at the opening session, in which a number of peers and colleagues discussed his contributions to the industry. Hill praised his “wealth of knowledge,” which she said has been an invaluable industry source.
Tom Finneran, also an EVP at the organization, said it was fitting that Donahue’s alma mater Villanova was one of the top basketball schools in the country this year. (They made it to the NCAA Tournament, but were eliminated this weekend.) He called them both “class acts.”