BBDO New York CEO John Osborn Leaves the Agency for OMD U.S.

Shifting from a creative background to media

John Osborn takes on a new role on the media side at OMD U.S.

John Osborn is leaving the creative world of BBDO New York after 25 years to start on the media side at OMD U.S., where he will serve as CEO. Osborn succeeds Monica Karo, who has been promoted to chief client officer of OMD Worldwide.

Osborn spent the last 13 years as CEO of BBDO New York, but joined the agency 25 years ago to head up the Pepsi account. In Osborn’s absence BBDO New York has appointed Kirsten Flanik president and CEO of the agency. She was named president of the agency last year and first joined BBDO New York in 2006.

“One of the best things about working at Omnicom is they have an incredible focus on growth, both business growth and personal growth,” Osborn said. “We spend a lot of time mapping out where people go and how to keep them moving through the jungle gym of their careers.”

Osborn noted that he felt like it was time for a change of pace in his career, and the media side of the business was calling his name.

“I have seen over the past couple of years the real opportunity that exists and the need that clients have expressed in the media side of the house and importantly how that media side needs to really intersect and intertwine with the creative side,” he explained. “I felt like it was an opportunity to come in and perhaps provide a jolt of electricity and take what I’m good at–I’m really maniacally focused on clients, on growth, on people and culture–and use that to try and work really closely with the leadership that already exists within OMD.”

Most recently OMD held on to its approximately $250 million global Luxottica business. OMD was also Adweek’s Global Media Agency of the year in both 2014 and 2015.

Osborn will look to build on that previous success and will begin by hitting the road to visit OMD offices across the country as well as clients.

“John’s cross-channel expertise, combined with his skill in creating and leading multi-disciplinary teams, makes him the ideal choice to lead OMD,” Page Thompson, Omnicom Media Group North America CEO, said in a statement. “He’s a proven and passionate leader who knows how to build the relationships–with clients, with agency partners, and with talent–that build brands.”

Added Osborn: “I think to the degree we can help provide more of a reductionist approach to media is something we build upon here and that’s something I’ve had the good fortune of being able to experience looking at it through the lens of storytelling on the BBDO side.”

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