Ogilvy & Mather has promoted Lou Aversano to the newly created post of chief executive officer in New York, reporting to John Seifert, North America chairman and CEO. Mr. Aversano had been chief operating officer in New York.
Mr. Seifert had been overseeing Ogilvy's flagship New York office as well as all of North America. Lauren Crampsie, chief marketing officer, said the agency created the new CEO spot to help navigate growing questions about what agencies should be doing, what talent they should handle and the content they should produce. "We want our flagship office to take responsibility and control," she said. "And we want one leader driving that decision."
Most of Ogilvy's global clients are also serviced out of New York, she said, so the agency wanted one person to oversee that.
In his new role, Mr. Aversano will be responsible all of the agency's business performance, creative strategy, operations, client relationships and talent management. The heads of the agency disciplines such as advertising, PR, digital, customer engagement, shopper and branded content will will now report into Mr. Aversano.
Mr. Aversano joined the agency in 1994 as an account supervisor. After a stint in Paris to lead the IBM account in Europe, he returned to New York in 2000 to join the IBM worldwide leadership team, becoming president of the IBM business globally in 2007. He was named chief operating officer in 2011.
"We're making a decision to create more leadership in the New York office," said Mr. Aversano. He added that his priorities will be to reinforce Ogilvy's "brand transformation" capabilities, and foster a culture that puts ideas and creativity at the center. He also said that his experience running IBM for so many years has made him focus on the idea of integration as a strategy, which he hopes to prioritize in his new role as well.
The WPP shop also recently bolstered its creative capabilities with the move of Chris Garbutt from a chief creative role in France to chief creative officer at Ogilvy & Mather East in New York.