PHD Names Andrew McLean New U.S. CEO
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group's PHD is switching up its U.S. leadership once again. Less than two years after taking the reins as U.S. CEO, Scott Hagedorn is leaving to head the Annalect Group, a new digital and data analytics agency within Omnicom Media Group, Omnicom's media holding company. Mr. Hagedorn will be replaced by Andrew McLean, former worldwide chief business development officer at WPP's GroupM. The moves take effect December 1.
During Mr. Hagedorn's time running PHD in the U.S., the agency had its share of ups and downs. It found itself in the headlines quite a bit as its biggest client, Chrysler, ended its relationships with the agency and its sibling shop BBDO. It also lost Charles Schwab and Relativity Media. On the plus side, the agency helped lead the successful holding company pitch for Humana and retained Discovery Networks, and it was given the nod from Discovery Communications to manage the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network. The agency has also produced award-winning work, most notably for HBO's "True Blood" series.
Page Thompson, CEO Omnicom Media Group, North America, noted that Mr. Hagedorn's leaving is in no way a reflection of OMG being unhappy with the agency's performance. "This is a good day for us," he said. "The future of this industry is being driven by data, analytics and new technology, and the currency is going to change. We didn't need to spend an outrageous amount of money to acquire a company to do all of those things for us, because we have the resources to handle all of those things with OMG. And we have the guy, Scott, to run it."
Mr. Thompson said Annalect has been in the works since last April, but it's taken this long to get off the ground because OMG was looking for the "right" replacement for Mr. Hagedorn.
Mr. McLean has been in the media business for 25 years. He spent five years at Disney, where he oversaw the consolidation of the marketer's media business. And he's worked as a television buyer, a media planner, account director and new business leader at agencies like DMB&B, Young & Rubicam and MEC.
Mr. McLean said he wants to play to his strengths of clients and growth as U.S. head of PHD. "Growth, from new and current clients, is something I'm very keen on, and we are going to have an incredible focus on clients and a laser-like focus on talent and people," Mr. McLean said. "PHD has always been known as the smart and very insightful one. One of the things that has held it back was that it lacked the scale of its bigger sister, OMD. But what we're seeing is clients being conscious about having the best people work on their business, and that's what PHD offers. I recently pitched against PHD thinking we could beat them because it lacked the scale, but we lost to them."
In his new role, Mr. Hagedorn will be leading a group of 300 people taken from OMG's digital and analytics departments, including Resolution Media, Trading Desk and the Brand Science Group, among others. The idea behind the unit, according to OMG, is to align all of OMG's digital and analytics assets and leverage consumer and media data from OMG's $2 billion in digital investments. These OMG units will not lose their identities but instead will become agencies within the Annalect Group.
Prior to replacing Matt Seiler, now global CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' UM, as PHD's U.S. CEO in December 2008, Mr. Hagedorn served as managing director of the Eastern region for sibling Omnicom media agency OMD.
Mr. Hagedorn said he isn't leaving PHD with a feeling that there is unfinished business and admits that if it weren't for the "pull" to the digital and behavioral side of things, he would be staying.
"At my heart, I'm a bit if a science nerd, and so much of what we do is rooted in the reach and frequency and math that existed in the '60s and '70s, and we don't live in that world anymore," Mr. Hagedorn said. "The foundations of the industry are ripe for being re-invented and having someone create a new set of media fundamentals based on where we are now. And I feel like it's the moment to give something like that a shot."