OMD Eliminates U.S. Regional Presidents and Chief Marketing Role

By Erik Oster Comment

Omnicom’s largest media agency OMD has eliminated all U.S. regional president roles as well as two other executive positions including that of CMO, a spokesperson confirmed late yesterday. All told, five jobs were cut.

AdAge first reported the news last night.

A party close to the matter told AgencySpy that the reason for the move was not a shift in client spending but, rather, a determination by agency leadership that these roles were redundant.

In an internal memo, OMD explained that the elimination of the roles was a difficult decision made due to a realignment to an evolution in client relationships.

The regional president role dates back to OMD’s 2002 launch, when OMD was formed from the media departments of Omnicom agencies BBDO in New York, DDB in Chicago and TBWA in Los Angeles, the memo explains. At the time, senior media executives from those agencies each took on regional president roles.

“It was a model that made sense when the regional offices were more dependent on their origin agencies and local geographies for business,” the memo continues. “However this added layer is no longer consistent with how clients expect agencies to operate today – borderless, frictionless, and fluid.”

Patty Sachs had served as president of the East region for OMD, Lisa Bradner as president of the Midwest and Greg Castronuovo as president of the West region.

The memo notes that other unspecified “redundant” roles within business development and OMD Create were also eliminated, and an agency spokesperson confirmed that  chief marketing officer Laurel Rossi and OMD Create managing director Kerry Perse.

Going forward, regional teams will report to executive leadership under U.S. CEO John Osborn, and also “seamlessly connect to practice specialty areas across business leadership strategy, marketing science and investment.” Osborn led the decision regarding the executive positions.

We’ve included OMD’s internal memo in full below:

Over the past year OMD has been focused  realigning our offer to the reality of how clients, agencies and media partners work today, including  the recent integration of digital specialty and marketing sciences practices at the account team level.

These changes have made us more agile and have reduced friction between our clients and the solutions and services they need. At the same time, they have revealed the need to realign our organizational structure toward a flatter model.

As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate the regional president level across OMD USA.

The regional president role is part of a legacy architecture from OMD’s launch in 2002, when the media departments of Omnicom agencies based in NY (BBDO), Chicago (DDB) and Los Angeles (TBWA) were spun off to form OMD, with senior media executives from each of those agencies taking on a president title. It was a model that made sense when the regional offices were more dependent on their origin agencies and local geographies for business. However this added layer is no longer consistent with how clients expect agencies to operate today – borderless, frictionless, and fluid.

Moving forward, the regional teams will seamlessly connect into the Client Leadership Team under the direction of Scott Downs.

Redundant roles within business development and OMD create were also eliminated.

Patrick Coffee contributed reporting to this story.

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