Omnicom announces U.S. leadership shakeup at PHD and Hearts & Science
Catherine Sullivan, currently chief investment officer for Omnicom Media Group North America, was appointed U.S. CEO of PHD. She replaces Nathan Brown, who the agency said is stepping down after six years at the helm.
Ralph Pardo, meanwhile, is the new U.S. CEO of Hearts & Science. He succeeds Erin Matts, who the agency said is "moving to another role within the group" that has yet to be identified.
Geoffrey Calabrese, who has been leading the holding company's private marketplace practice, OMnet, as president, will succeed Sullivan as chief investment officer of Omnicom Media Group North America. He joined Omnicom Media Group in 2010 from the National Football League, where he developed and implemented the league's first procurement organization.
"Two of the most significant trends shaping the industry today are the data-driven convergence of media and creative, and the shift to audience-based investment,” Scott Hagedorn, CEO of Omnicom Media Group North America, said in a statement. “In naming Ralph and Catherine ,we’re assuring agency leadership that aligns to marketplace dynamics.”
Pardo, a 12-year Omnicom veteran, has spent the past four years leading the holding company's AT&T business—an integrated team from Hearts & Science and BBDO handles both creative and media for the client. Sullivan, who joined the company in 2016, is credited with building Omnicom Media Group's digital- and audience-first investment practice.
In 2018, Sullivan flipped the script on the industry Upfronts, launching Omnicom Media Group's Partners' Summit that got the TV networks, platforms and publishers to present customized offers to the company's clients. Before Omnicom, she was a senior VP at ABC Television.
Last year, Omnicom Media Group eliminated five senior executive positions in the U.S. in a streamlining move. As a result, the regional presidents and chief marketing officer role in the U.S. were cut, and regional teams began reporting directly to U.S. CEOs. A few months prior to that, in February 2019, Hagedorn stepped into the role of CEO of Omnicom Media Group in North America, replacing Page Thompson, who retired.
In October 2019, Omnicom Media Group emerged as one of the two big winners, alongside Publicis Media, of the Walt Disney Co. global estimated $2.2 billion media review. Notably, Omnicom retained the planning and buying duties in the U.S. for Disney Studios—which includes Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation, as well as now the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.