Organic Poaches Google's David Bryant

CEO David Shulman Brings In More Talent In Turnaround Attempt

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Righting the ship at Omnicom digital agency Organic will be a Herculean effort, but new CEO David Shulman is taking a stab at it by bringing on new talent for key positions.

Ad Age has learned that Mr. Shulman -- who in August replaced longtime Organic exec Marita Scarfi -- has poached former Googler David Bryant. He will serve as Organic 's new chief creative officer overseeing work produced across the network. Most recently, Mr. Bryant was a creative strategist at Google, but he has agency experience too. He was a founding member of Tribal DDB (another Omnicom digital shop), was executive creative director for digital at Publicis, and spent time at BBH and Digitas.

David Bryant
David Bryant

"It's an exciting time to be a creative when technology, strategy, and creativity are all so interconnected," Mr. Bryant said in a statement. "I feel lucky for the opportunities I've had to play in those spaces, particularly with my time with Google, which was like going to the richest university in the world. I'm really keen to bring that knowledge to Organic ."

"David is the perfect CCO for Organic ," Mr. Shulman stated. "He is a proven leader who's worked for years at the intersection of creativity and technology. That means he knows how to innovate in a way that drives true value for our clients."

To help try and attract more top talent, Mr. Shulman has also brought aboard Mark Murata, most recently senior VP-talent acquisition and retention at Digitas, to serve as Organic 's new chief talent officer. Before Digitas he led human resources posts at communications firm APCO Worldwide and at Porter Novelli.

For Mr. Shulman and his two new colleagues, it will be a challenge to revive Organic and make it a healthy digital agency brand once again. The shop was founded in the early '90s and at the outset had much success, but has struggled in recent years. Organic 's revenue fell almost 5% in 2011 to $123 million from the year prior, according to Ad Age DataCenter. That followed a similar 5% drop in revenue between 2010 and 2009.

That could be part of the reason why Omnicom -- despite its long-stated strategy of building digital chops into its porfolio of agencies, or "building" rather than "buying" -- was evaluating a purchase of digital network LBi at one point earlier this year. But ultimately it passed and LBi was snapped up by Publicis Groupe for a hefty price tag of $540 million.

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