O’Malley in Charge of PHD’s DaimlerChrysler

CHICAGO Omnicom Group’s PHD USA has hired Mike O’Malley as president of its Detroit operations, overseeing the media agency’s estimated $2 billion DaimlerChrysler account.

In the new post, O’Malley, most recently president of J. Walter Thompson’s Detroit and Houston operations, will report to Steve Grubbs, CEO of PHD USA. He takes over the duties formerly overseen by Cindy Nelson, who left the agency last August.

“Mike is an experienced leader and outstanding strategic thinker who brings enormous experience in the automotive category,” said Grubbs in a statement. “He has managed agencies in Detroit. He has worked on the client side of the car business. He understands the importance of media’s role in the marketing communications process.”

As president of JWT’s Detroit and Houston offices, O’Malley, 52, directed the WPP Group agency’s efforts for Ford Motor Co., Shell and Dominoes, among other accounts. Before joining JWT, he was general manager of General Motors’ Cadillac division.

DaimlerChrysler spent just over $1.3 billion on measured media last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. PHD also handles Mitsubishi Motors North America, which spent nearly $300 million last year, according to Nielsen.