Carla Hendra is vacating her role as North American CEO of Ogilvy & Mather to run a new specialty unit that the WPP Group agency is launching next year.
Hendra, 53, will become chairman of the new Global Strategy & Innovation Practice, effective Jan. 4, the agency said today. As a result, Hendra, a 14-year veteran of Ogilvy, will shed her dual roles as North American CEO and chairman of the network’s New York office.
Hendra became a North American leader in 2005, when she and Bill Gray rose to co-CEOs of the region. Gray shifted to vice chairman in January, when Ogilvy named John Seifert chairman of North America. Then, in September, Gray left the agency after more than 30 years.
The Hendra and Gray moves leave Seifert as the sole North American chief.
As such, local office leaders, such as Simon Pearce and Harvey Kipnis, New York managing directors of Ogilvy and OgilvyOne, respectively, will now report directly to Seifert.
In her new post, Hendra will report to worldwide CEO Miles Young. In a statement, Young described Hendra as the “perfect candidate to advance innovation around the globe.”
The new unit reflects Young’s desire to move Ogilvy beyond marketing and into client business consulting. “Clients fundamentally want insights and ideas that accelerate their brands and business,” Young said.
Ogilvy said the practice would offer clients “multidisciplinary strategic services that combine creativity with rigorous effectiveness.”