Colin Gottlieb, the media agency veteran who helped lead OMD from its early days and transform it into a worldwide powerhouse, is stepping down next month from his roles as CEO of Omnicom Media Group EMEA and Chairman OMD Worldwide.
He will remain an advisor to the company into 2020.
In an internal memo, OMG CEO Daryl Simm wrote Gottlieb’s decision comes “at a time when we will be making some strategic changes to our regional management structure, to be announced shortly, that are designed to enable the rollout of our global initiatives, across multiple regions, with greater speed and consistency.
"Though Colin has decided to make a change, I am delighted he has agreed to continue as an advisor into 2020.”
Gottlieb has been with the agency since the late 1990s when OMD acquired his shop, Manning Gottlieb Media.
As Simm noted in his memo: “We asked him to develop OMD, and then Omnicom Media Group, across EMEA. He did just that, transforming a group of disconnected country offices, all with different ways of working, into a world-class organization of over 9,000 diverse and talented team members across 63 countries.
"We wouldn’t be where we are as a global organization, to say nothing of the growth in EMEA, without his enduring passion for our clients and people, combined with his creative spirit and entrepreneurial energy."
In 2017, Gottlieb added the role of OMD chairman to support Florian Adamski, as he transitioned into the OMD Global CEO role based in London. (Adamski succeeded Mainardo de Nardis, who was New York-based.) That transition has now been successfully completed, according to Simm.
“As Colin will soon move into his advisory capacity, I want to take this moment to thank him for everything he has done for our organization since the earliest days,” Simm wrote. “His operating skills and understanding of the media business are unmatched, but more than that, I’ll personally miss his irreplaceable understanding of our culture and his partnership.”