There's lots of new business to toast over drinks at the surfboard bar in OMD West's L.A. office. And much of that success can be chalked up to Greg Castronuovo, president, OMD West.
Mr. Castronuovo, who's come a long way from his entry-level days at NBC, oversees OMD's entertainment unit in addition to the West Coast region, which has either
contributed to or led new-business wins accounting for $1.37 billion in the past year, including eHarmony, Tourism
Australia, Activision and Warner Bros. -- a major gain in the face of losing Universal due to consolidation by Comcast. He also led the effort to retain the Levi's business and expand traditional planning and buying with digital work in the U.S. and globally.
"We had to prove ourselves all over again [with Levi's]. Their business was changing and they wanted to consolidate globally," he said, explaining that the firm's existing traditional-media business was on the line during the review. "It takes the entire leadership of the agency to pull that off," he added, though he did cop to his central role in the win.
"This year was a breath of fresh air for all of us, especially for me, to be able to look at the world on the upswing for a little bit," said Mr. Castronuovo, who joined the firm three years ago, right as the economy took a turn for the worse.
Over time, he has worked with CEO Alan Cohen to build a mobile capability, which began in L.A., and has helped integrate the media business with specialty groups such as OMG's Mobile, Gaming, Content Collective and Ignition Factory to drive better new-business results and client content.
"He's been a leader in trying to get digital in some of these legacy pieces of business," said Mr. Cohen, who said he and Mr. Castronuovo had worked together in the past. "Greg has a unique ability to be both a business person and understand the analytics and creativity -- two things clients are putting a premium on these days."
"Media is at the center of the universe right now, and we believe it leads, which is where I think my passion comes from," said Mr. Castronuovo. "It's the idea of leveraging media to create content ... something that had its first inkling in the West."
He joined the industry as a content developer, having spent time at Fox and WWE, and said he's right at home out West. "I leveraged content to create media assets for networks," he said. "Having that promotional background, I always knew there was a lot of potential and that this kind of work belongs in L.A."