OMD Gets A Management Makeover, New Global Headquarters

Well, it’s been a pretty exciting, chock-full-of-news day at a pair of Omnicom agencies — OMD and BBDO.  

The news at the shops is interrelated with BBDO New York CEO John Osborn shifting over to OMD as U.S. CEO, which is surprising in and of itself. You don’t see many CEOs of big flagship creative shops deciding, “hmmm, I think I’ll go run a big media shop.”

Usually it’s just the opposite, with the heads of media shops having aspirations to run big creative agencies. Clearly, that is changing. Osborn gave The Wall Street Journal a great quote, saying he decided to join OMD because media is "where the action is."

Wow -- how things have changed since Osborn was named president of BBDO NY back in 2004. Back then, the running joke was that during a pitch, the creative team would gab on for an hour or so and then ask the prospective clients if they wanted to go to lunch or get a five-minute download on the media plan first.



But back to the OMD news. 

Osborn replaced the well-regarded Monica Karo, who is stepping into a global client management role, an area in which she excels. As an example, she has led OMD's global Apple business for over a decade.

The Omnicom agency also made several other major changes, including naming a new global CEO — Florian (Flo) Adamski, who succeeds Mainardo de Nardis, who is stepping into the new role of executive vice chairman Omnicom Media Group.

Adamksi previously ran the Omnicom Media Group Germany operation. Now he will oversee the entire global OMD network from its new London headquarters. When de Nardis was in charge, the global HQ was New York.

Adamski will have help from another OMD veteran — Colin Gottlieb — who was the chief architect of OMD in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Today, he oversees Manning Gottlieb OMD out of London. Now he’s taking on the additional role of chairman of OMD WW.

An internal company memo issued to the troops stated: “Flo’s experience has spanned both Europe and the U.S., working on many top clients (PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Renault-Nissan Alliance, Sony). And, as a co-founder of several startup companies in media, e-commerce, and design and fashion, he has a unique perspective on what’s important to marketers.”

As to Gottlieb, the memo stated: “No one is more experienced in delivering strategies and operational results across markets. Working in close collaboration with Flo, Colin will provide seasoned guidance, as well as the capacity to expedite resources to deliver the best in Group capabilities to OMD’s clients.”

Separately, Kate Stephenson has been appointed COO, OMD Worldwide, from president, global account management, Omnicom Media Group.  

Well, that’s certainly a snootful of news about an agency in one day! Oh, and not to forget that Osborn is succeeded by Kirsten Flanik, who has been president of BBDO New York since May 2016.


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