Ryan Joins New Omnicom Unit

CHICAGO — J. Walter Thompson Chicago executive creative director Dennis Ryan will join the new Omnicom unit being launched to handle Pepsico’s business, an Omnicom spokesperson confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The 38-year-old creative returned from New York Thursday after meeting with Bob Jeffrey, president of JWT’s North American operations, who tried to convince Ryan to stay at the shop, sources said. Ryan was named head of JWT’s worldwide creative council in March.

Ryan, who will be chief creative officer of the unnamed Omnicom shop, will report directly to former Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, president Brian Williams, who is heading up the venture. Ryan’s exact starting date was not disclosed.

JWT executives have identified Ryan’s replacement, who is someone already at JWT, sources said.

Ryan had been rumored to be in line for the top creative post at the new Omnicom unit for several weeks. The original target for the post was FCB’s Jonathan Harries, but he turned down the position to become worldwide creative director at FCB.

The Omnicom unit will handle $350 million of Pepsico business, including Gatorade, Tropicana and Quaker products. At least 52 FCB employees who worked on the Quaker Oats business have taken jobs with the agency.