Scott Hagedorn, founder and CEO of the Hearts & Science team that made headlines by scooping up AT&T and Procter & Gamble’s media accounts in 2015 and 2016, has been promoted to chief executive officer of Omnicom Media Group in North America, effective immediately.
Hagedorn succeeds Page Thompson, who will retire after four decades with Omnicom. He spent more than 10 of those years atop OMG.
The network houses all of Omnicom’s media planning and buying operations, including OMD and PHD in addition to Hearts & Science, which grew out of data and marketing sciences group Annalect. Hagedorn’s promotion therefore reinforces the holding company’s focus on analytics as a key differentiator.
OMG global CEO Daryl Simm cited Hagedorn’s “record of innovation and transformation, combined with his hands-on leadership experience across multiple OMG agency brands and practice categories” in explaining the decision.
In two other key moves, John Swift, who formerly led investment and integrated services for the network, has also been promoted to chief operating officer with former OMG president of U.S. investment Catherine Sullivan named chief investment officer for North America. She formerly led ad sales at Disney and NBC.
Hagedorn has spent 15 years with Omnicom, holding top roles at Rapp and PHD before becoming CEO of PHD and later co-founding Annalect in 2010.
“I’m excited to get to paint with a bigger palette,” he told Adweek. The first significant move by Swift and Hagedorn will involve moving teams that specialize in areas like search and programmatic from Resolution Media—which was formed by the 2012 union of all Omnicom search shops—into the OMG agencies in order to more seamlessly serve each of their clients.
Hagedorn also said that he and Swift “want to start three new companies within the first six months” based on in-demand services such as voice search, ecommerce and “optimizing the programmatic funnels of Amazon” while further integrating the company-wide platform Omni into clients’ tech stacks.
In just over three years, Hearts & Science expanded to 25 offices in 13 countries, with five locations in the U.S. alone. And despite some recent setbacks that included losing a portion of its signature P&G business, Hagedorn said the agency has grown 30 percent year over year on a global basis.
“I happened into the data business by accident. I was a brand planner from a creative agency that worked on tech, and I want us to get centered on what’s beyond where we are now,” Hagedorn said, opining that marketers—and society at large—have yet to truly understand the ways mobile technology has upended how we consume information and interact with one another every day.
Citing the “jarring” results of a 20-year-old deprivation study tracking the effects of exposure to the first Nokia mobile phone, Hagedorn added, “We all assumed mobile works just like TV, but they play a very different utility in people’s lives.”