Omnicom Confirms Staff And Salary Cuts, Other Steps In Response To Pandemic

Omnicom has released CEO John Wren’s latest weekly email to all employees about the challenges of COVID-19.  Wren conveyed the difficult news that staff layoffs across many of the holding company’s agencies are among the measures being taken in response to deteriorating business conditions.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the economy, on our clients’ businesses, and in turn, on ours,” Wren wrote. “While we hope for a swift recovery, we have to respond quickly to the reality of the moment, to ensure the sustainability of our business and our ability to continue to provide our clients with outstanding service.”

Wren added that “we have solidified some of the internal measures to adjust our business to meet the changing needs of our clients. Regrettably, this will include furloughs and staff reductions across many of our agencies. We are doing everything we can to limit staff reductions, and to take care of those who are affected.”



Wren indicated that Omnicom’s executive leadership team, including network and practice area CEOs are taking one-third salary cuts, and Wren is waiving 100% of his salary through the end of September. He noted that agencies will participate in government subsidiary programs around the world and that the company has expanded U.S. health benefit plans for those affected by COVID-19.

Where possible, people are being shifted to growth areas in the company, such as Omnicom Health Group.

Wren also confirmed that the company is eliminating discretionary costs and capital expenditures including participation in award shows and industry events. It has also suspended a buyback program and taken other financial measures.

“You are the heart of our business and that makes these actions extremely difficult,” Wren told the troops. “We have survived crises before. Our people and our company have shown tremendous grit and resilience and we will come out of this stronger. Thank you for your hard work and commitment during this difficult time.”

Many of the actions Omnicom is taking are also being taken by the other major holding companies. Dentsu Aegis Network and Publicis disclosed measures earlier this week which followed earlier announcements by WPP and Interpublic.

Next story loading loading..