Mike Donahue, Departing The 4As, Gets Standing Ovation At Transformation Show

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.”

11 comments about "Mike Donahue, Departing The 4As, Gets Standing Ovation At Transformation Show".
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  1. Bob Linden from 4As, March 23, 2015 at 1:14 p.m.

    Mike is indeed a class act. I've had the privilege of working with him at 4As for 20 years. You won't find a more caring, kinder person than Mike who is a wealth of knowledge. Mike, we'll miss you!!

  2. James Nail from Forrester Research, March 23, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

    Mike: I'm giving you a standing ovation now! Thanks for all your help over the years.

  3. Norman Tobias from American Association of Advertising Agencies, March 23, 2015 at 1:26 p.m.

    Mike, Best of luck. We will miss you

  4. Bill Duggan from ANA, March 23, 2015 at 5:52 p.m.

    Mike has been a terrific advocate for the marketing community and a wonderful partner to ANA. Our industry is better, thanks to Mike!

  5. Jerry Gibbons from Gibbons Advice, March 23, 2015 at 7:47 p.m.

    Donahue played an important role at the 4As and within the industry - more important than most people realize. He got a lot done and always did it with style and grace. My very best to you Mike, as you move on to the next step in your business life.
    Cheers - Jerry

  6. Duke Fanelli from ANA, March 23, 2015 at 9:32 p.m.

    Mike, congratulations on a great career at the 4A's. Sorry I couldn't be at the conference to join in the standing ovation.

  7. Gordon Borrell from Borrell Associates, March 24, 2015 at 8:07 a.m.

    I'd say that I'll miss Mike, but I'm certain (and glad) we'll be seeing the indefatigable Mr. Donahue around the industry in another incarnation.

  8. Pat Dunbar from DiMAS Group, March 24, 2015 at 9:31 a.m.

    Mike was one of the real pioneers in ad tech, recognizing years ago that data, and clean data, was a critical element in the efficient distribution and reconcilement of ad campaigns.

  9. Jonathan Adams from Maxus, March 24, 2015 at 11:41 a.m.

    Mike's been one of my finest industry-friends for the last 18 years -- and we are all better for his tireless passion in leading the impossible rate of change that has happened to our industry. Back to Ts&Cs v1 and v2... Mike helped the agency community stand our ground and fought for marketer and agency protections we all take for granted today. Mike -- I'll miss you in this role and wish you the very best! JA

  10. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, March 24, 2015 at 12:01 p.m.

    Hope he can still score in the paint. UNC is gonna need both Mike and his son to make it to the Final Four (congrats Mike)

  11. Kenneth Fadner from MediaPost, March 24, 2015 at 8:47 p.m.

    Congratulations on a long and distinguished career, Mike.

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