Wendy Clark, an industry veteran with a wealth of agency and client-side experience, has been named chief executive officer and president of DDB Worldwide's North American operations.
Clark will join DDB in January from Coca-Cola North America, where she has been president of the beverage giant's sparkling brands and strategic marketing. She has held several senior marketing positions since joining Coke in 2008. Her resume also includes high-level positions at AT&T (where she was a client of current DDB global CEO Chuck Brymer when he led Interbrand) and ad shop GSD&M.
At DDB, Clark succeeds Mark O'Brien, who will move to executive vice president at Omnicom Group, the agency's parent firm.
"She understands the demands facing corporate marketing and the role agencies play in engaging and winning customers," said Brymer. Clark has been lauded for her innovative initiatives at Coke, and at DDB, her main mission will include attracting and cultivating top talent to keep campaigns on the leading edge, Brymer said.
Coke is not presently on DDB's roster, which includes assignments from Mars, McDonald's and Unilever, among many others.
"It's been a privilege to add my fingerprints to the millions who have shaped the 129-year legacy of brand Coca-Cola," Clark said. "In that same sense of legacy, I am now delighted to join the talented team at DDB, a brand that traces its own heritage back 66 years to one of the forefathers of advertising, Bill Bernbach."
A Coke representative said, "Wendy has built a talented team and a deep bench of CCNA marketers who are ready to assume their place as our next generation of brand leaders. We'll have more to share on succession soon."
Clark's impending departure is the latest in a series of marketing changes for Coke, following Marcos de Quinto's ascension a year ago to chief marketing officer and the departure of previous CMO Joe Tripodi.
This summer, Coke made agency moves as well, naming a trio of WPP shops—Ogilvy, Sra Rushmore and Santo—to create its next global campaign. Around the same time, Coke named Interpublic's UM its lead media partner for North America.