DDB Installs Mark O’Brien as N.A. Chief

DDB has replaced longtime North American president Dick Rogers with Mark O’Brien, chief operating officer for the region.

The Chicago-based Rogers, who has been regional president since 2001, will shift to chairman of North America. O’Brien, 47, will continue to be based in New York and report to worldwide CEO Chuck Brymer.

O’Brien, who assumed the COO position last year after serving as CFO for North America and the Asia-Pacific region, has worked at the Omnicom Group shop since 1994. Before that, he was a senior manager at Arthur Andersen.

The changing of the guard comes at the end of a year defined in part by business erosion, with key clients Anheuser-Busch and AT&T shifting assignments to Anomaly and BBDO, respectively. Also, while DDB in May finally filled its Chicago chief creative officer opening with Ewan Patterson, New York has to install its second CCO in as many years when Matt Eastwood replaced Eric Silver in July.

In a statement, Brymer said that O’Brien has “played an integral role in many of DDB’s most important initiatives, enabling the agency to evolve ahead of its time,” adding, “He is a great talent and exactly the type of forward-thinking person to continue our North American development.”

Rogers, 61, has spent 35 years at DDB, back to his days at predecessor shop Needham, Harper &  Steers.