McCann's Devika Bulchandani to become CEO of Ogilvy North America
Devika Bulchandani is departing Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup, where she spent the last 23 years most recently as president of North America, to become CEO of Ogilvy North America.
Bulchandani will also be global chairwoman of advertising for the WPP creative agency. The agency says she will be responsible for leading Ogilvy's core business across the U.S. and Canada, spanning advertising, brand and content, public relations and influence, experience, growth and innovation and health. According to an Ogilvy spokesperson, Bulchandani will officially start sometime in early 2021, though an exact date has not yet been set.
Her appointment comes as both agencies, McCann and Ogilvy, undergo significant leadership shifts. In June, Ogilvy named Deloitte vet Andy Main as its new global CEO. Main replaced Ogilvy Worldwide CEO-Chairman John Seifert, who announced he would leave the agency after 41 years in April.
Meanwhile, McCann Worldgroup announced last month that Chief Operating Officer Bill Kolb would be succeeding Harris Diamond, who is set to retire at the end of the year, as chairman and CEO. Some people close to the matter have told Ad Age they speculate Diamond decided to leave McCann when Philippe Krakowsky was named IPG's new CEO, also in October, as he was the closest runner-up for the top job.
Bulchandani has been with McCann since 1997, when she joined the agency's strategy department. Early on, she was credited by the agency for transitioning Mastercard's "Priceless" ad slogan into a global business platform.
“Dev is a leader with relentless drive, a sharp understanding of our clients’ rapidly evolving needs and an undeniable track record of using creativity as a catalyst for growth," Main said in a statement. "With Dev leading our teams across North America, I’m confident that Ogilvy will be strongly positioned to deliver the ideas our clients need to create giant value for their businesses at speed and scale."
Bulchandani swiftly rose throught the ranks at McCann, becoming chief strategy officer of its New York office and then rising to executive VP and managing director of global strategy in 2012. She assumed the position of president of McCannXBC, McCann's dedicated Mastercard unit, in 2014.
She was promoted to president of McCann New York in 2017 and then was elevated again in 2019, to president of its North American operations. As president of New York, Bulchandani was a key player in the launch of the award-winning Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street for State Street Global Advisers.
Bulchandani is a current board member of the Ad Club in New York and is a founding member of Time's Up Advertising, the industry collective for fighting sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace.
"Few people blazed trails in this industry the way that David Ogilvy did, and I'm invigorated by the opportunity to work with Andy to shape Ogilvy's future," Bulchandani added in a statement. "At this time of immense change, I look forward to harnessing the creative brilliance and diverse expertise of Ogilvy's global network to solve problems and create lasting value for clients."