Ogilvy Gains a New ‘Operator’ as CEO

NEW YORK Miles Young, the incoming worldwide CEO of The Ogilvy Group, carved out a reputation as a strong operator as chairman of the agency’s Asia-Pacific region, which has nearly doubled its revenue in the past five years. Sources describe the 53-year-old Briton as dedicated and smart and, as one source put it, “He expects the same degree of dedication from people who work for him.”

His success abroad earned the respect of WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell and made him a logical choice to succeed longtime CEO Shelly Lazarus, a 37-year veteran of the $2 billion network who has held the top job since 1996.

Still, Lazarus, a client-focused leader who’s credited with developing one of the most integrated offerings in the business, will be an “extremely difficult act to follow,” as Sorrell put it last week when announcing the global CEO succession plan, which takes effect Jan. 1.

Indeed, the 60-year-old leader has engendered loyalty among colleagues and clients alike. And she is known and envied within the WPP family for being able to “manage” her boss better than his other CEOs.

Lazarus will remain chairman of The Ogilvy Group to focus on client relationships and specifically help Young deepen his connections with the likes of Unilever, American Express, IBM, Kraft Foods, Nestl