Ogilvy Names New Leaders as Disciplines Form One 'Integrated Enterprise'

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John Seifert, Ogilvy Worldwide CEO.
John Seifert, Ogilvy Worldwide CEO. Credit: Courtesy Ogilvy

In his first major move since taking the helm a year ago, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide CEO John Seifert has appointed a new global leadership team as part of a strategy to "return the company to a single-branded, integrated enterprise."

The new operating system is being rolled out first in the U.S., which will bring all offices and separate business units in the country, such as OgilvyOne and Ogilvy Public Relations, under one P&L. The divisions had previously maintained their own profit and loss statements as part of the Ogilvy & Mather network.

Ogilvy & Mather New York CEO Lou Aversano has been promoted to Ogilvy USA CEO and will lead the integrated team.

Mr. Seifert said the U.S. will go through the operational transition first, which will help other countries around the world learn from and understand the new design. The main objectives for the revamped model are threefold, according to Mr. Seifert.

"We want to clarify what the global brand stands for and what our business promise is to clients," he said. "We want to simplify the company so that when Ogilvy shows up, it feels like one company, not a bunch of individual companies. And we want to unify the whole organization with a team that's more culturally diverse, has a better balance of men and women in leadership and can empower and give young people much more responsibility."

Lou Aversano, Ogilvy USA CEO.
Lou Aversano, Ogilvy USA CEO. Credit: Courtesy Ogilvy

Leaders of individual companies, such as Ogilvy Public Relations Global CEO Stuart Smith and OgilvyOne Global CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh, have been asked to "join me as enterprise leaders for the whole company," said Mr. Seifert. He added that they will spearhead the integration of each brand's unique tools, skills and talent into one system. They will also "expand their responsibilities for the greater Ogilvy organization over time," he said.

The titles of the individual leaders have not yet changed, but Mr. Seifert said that "a big part of what we're going to have to figure out is the new language we're going to use internally to describe the new company."

"I've spent a year sharing this strategy and talking about the implications of change with the entire company, and I believe that everybody is behind me in terms of what it's going to take to make this happen," he said.

That being said, Mr. Seifert said he's "not naïve," and he realizes that "change is not easy" and it will take time to redefine roles. "Now that they don't have to focus on individual P&Ls, the most senior people can spend more time with the clients, on the work and with our people," he said.

When asked about layoffs or staff reductions, Mr. Seifert said the company looks at its total business every month and makes decisions based on resources, but he believes the new structure will help Ogilvy better serve clients, ultimately leading to more opportunities and growth.

In addition to Mr. Aversano, other regional executive appointments include naming Laurie Young CEO of Ogilvy Canada; Veronica Hernandez and Cesar Agost Carreno as Mexico co-CEOs; Horacio Genolet as CEO of Ogilvy Latina; David Mayo as CEO of Ogilvy Malaysia; Katryna Mojica as CEO of Ogilvy Hong Kong and EeRong Chong as managing director of Ogilvy Singapore.

Diane Fakhouri was named global chief learning officer after serving in that post on a North America basis at Ogilvy & Mather. Chief Diversity Officer Donna Pedro was promoted to the same role on a global basis across the newly integrated system. And Suresh Raj and Jennifer Risi were promoted to global roles in buinesss development and communications, duties they had handled at Ogilvy Public Relations.

Günther Schumacher, most recently president of global IBM brand services, was named to the new role of worldwide chief delivery officer. Todd Krugman, who has been with Ogilvy since 2007, will succeed Mr. Schumacher as president of global IBM brand services. He has been working on the IBM business in markets such as Sydney, Singapore and, most recently, Tokyo.

Mr. Schumacher's position was created as part of Mr. Seifert's newly created "Ogilvy Delivery" business strategy and operating system. The new system will help Ogilvy create and operate under a "common set of standards" globally across production capabilities, technologies and program management and workflow. For example, Mr. Seifert said Ogilvy discovered that the company has more than 100 different types of technology being deployed worldwide, and it's hoping to get that down to 20 to help drive consistency and cut costs.

Ogilvy's restructure comes about four months after Publicis Communications restructured so that each country's creative agencies, such as Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, operate under a single P&L.

Similarly, Dentsu Aegis Network operates under a single P&L for each market, but all disciplines and agencies are under it, while Havas Worldwide's village model has all disciplines integrated into one P&L per office.

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