McCann Worldgroup North America Names John Dunleavy President

By Kyle O'Brien 

McCann Worldgroup has hired Ogilvy’s John Dunleavy as president of McCann Worldgroup North America, a new position at the agency.

Dunleavy will start his new job January 23, reporting directly to McCann Worldgroup CEO Daryl Lee.

Dunleavy joins the network from Ogilvy, where he served as global chief client officer and WPP global client leader for IBM. He will be responsible for driving deeper collaboration across the agencies within McCann Worldgroup in the region and will also manage McCann Worldgroup’s “Yes&” operating system.


The role aligns McCann Worldgroup’s North American structure with its network leadership model in other regions.

Dunleavy is a boomerang employee for McCann. Prior to Ogilvy, he served as global president of m:united//McCann, McCann Worldgroup’s dedicated global unit for Microsoft. Under his leadership, the agency played a role in the transformation of the brand, winning hundreds of creative and effectiveness awards, including a Cannes Lions Grand Prix and the Clio for Advertiser of the Year.

“John knows how to harness the power of collective creativity to make brands an authentic part of the cultural conversation and to ultimately grow businesses,” said Lee in a statement. “His ability to bring out the best in people and their capabilities makes him the perfect person to captain and coach our teams in North America. We are excited to have him back.”

In 2018, Dunleavy left McCann to lead WPP’s IBM relationship as global president of the Ogilvy and Mindshare joint venture, EightBar, where he led a team that included strategy, creative and media. In 2020 he was elevated to global chief client officer for the Ogilvy Group.

Previous experience includes senior management roles at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Grey Group and Publicis. Dunleavy began his career as an account director at Euro RSCG in London.

“McCann Worldgroup has some of the strongest agency brands, deepest capabilities, and brightest talent in the industry,” said Dunleavy in a statement. “The opportunity to help bring these amazing assets and people closer together with meaning and purpose to better serve Worldgroup’s clients is a dream role for me… McCann Worldgroup always felt like home. I’m beyond excited to return to work alongside so many great friends.”

McCann Worldgroup recently added Smirnoff, Converse, ASOS and Prudential to its client roster.