Omnicom Group has named Organic founder Jonathan Nelson CEO of Omnicom Digital, a newly created position.
This formalizes the role Nelson (pictured) has served over the past two years advising Omnicom CEO John Wren on the holding company’s digital strategy. Nelson joined Omnicom in 2002 when it purchased Organic, the interactive agency he founded nine years earlier.
His duties include spearheading holding company digital initiatives, such as vetting potential acquisitions and directing Omnicom’s strategy on developments in digital media, such as ad exchanges and data and analytics work. Nelson reports to Wren.
Training is a big focus, Nelson said, since many of Omnicom’s agencies have a heritage in traditional advertising.
Unlike its rivals WPP Group and Publicis Groupe, Omnicom did not make a big splash with a digital acquisition in recent years. WPP has made several investments in technology companies, in addition to buying 24/7 Real Media. Publicis bought both Digitas and Razorfish.
“We haven’t been the acquisition machine some of our peers have been,” Nelson said. “We’re looking at ways to spur organic growth and collaboration.”
In addition to founding Organic in 1993, Nelson began analytics firm Accrue. Both companies went public during the dot-com era.