DDB Names CEO for New York, Forms New Group Above It

Chris Brown of DDB Group Australia Ascends to Top Spot in New York

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Chris Brown
Chris Brown

DDB New York has found its new leader Down Under. The Omnicom agency said Tuesday that it was appointing Chris Brown, CEO of DDB Group Australia, to be president and CEO in New York.

He will report, however, to the current New York CEO, Peter Hempel, who is being elevated to chairman and CEO of a new structure for the shop, DDB Group New York.

Mr. Brown will also report to Mark O'Brien, president, DDB North America.

The new group in New York will include DDB New York, Uproar @ DDB, DDB Remedy, Tribal Worldwide New York, Roberts & Langer DDB and Spike DDB.

"This new structure allows us to get more from all the talent that we have within the various groups that are part of DDB in New York," Mr. Hempel said in a statement. "After 11 years at DDB New York, I am looking forward to working with Chris to see what kinds of synergies can be created across our operations."

Mr. O'Brien said that the idea behind the new group structure is to "try to identify areas where we can be more collaborative and effective at servicing our client portfolios."

Mr. Brown told Ad Age that priorities in his new role including getting to know the market, the agency, its people and its clients. " For me creating the right culture is hugely important," he said. "I have always been a subscriber to Keith Reinhard's philosophy: Get the culture right, get the people right, get your product right and the profits will unquestionably follow."

He also said that while growth and new business are important for any agency, "it is critical to find the right new business opportunities and not just chase any business."

Mr. Brown became CEO of DDB Group Australia in 2012, after serving as group managing director at the agency's Sydney office from 2007 to 2012.

DDB New York recently lost its chief creative officer, Matt Eastwood, who left to take on a global position at WPP's JWT. "I am also excited about the recruitment of a new chief creative officer for DDB New York and the opportunity that provides," Mr. Brown said. "We have had some amazing talent put their hat in the ring for the role."

The agency expects to announce Mr. Eastwood's successor before the end of the summer, Mr. O'Brien added.

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