Ogilvy appoints EMEA client chief Fiona Gordon as UK CEO

Gordon has worked for the WPP agency since 1992 and replaces Michael Frohlich.

Gordon: has spent 29 years working at Ogilvy and WPP
Gordon: has spent 29 years working at Ogilvy and WPP

Ogilvy has appointed Fiona Gordon, previously chief client officer EMEA, as the network’s UK chief executive.

Gordon, who takes on the role with immediate effect, replaces Michael Frohlich, who was hired in March by Weber Shandwick as the Interpublic Group PR agency’s EMEA chief executive. Since then, Frohlich has been on gardening leave, with Ogilvy's EMEA CEO and chair Paul O'Donnell taking charge of the UK business.

Before being promoted to her current role leading client services across EMEA, Gordon spent four years as WPP’s UK lead on the integrated Walgreens Boots Alliance account, delivering what WPP described as Boots' highest brand reputation scores in 10 years. 

After first winning the business in 2017, WPP retained the account last October – though it moved the creative from Ogilvy into VMLY&R.

O’Donnell said: “Fiona is a truly modern, inspirational leader, who focuses on building high-performing teams and is a tremendous champion for creativity and talent.

“She is absolutely the right person to lead Ogilvy UK into the next phase of its evolution. Fiona leads with typical Scottish candour and drive and I look forward to partnering with her in this new role."

Gordon joined Ogilvy as a graduate trainee in 1992 and, over the next 23 years, moved through a series of roles in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2015 she returned to London from Asia to take up the position of group transformation director at Ogilvy & Mather UK, as the agency was then called. She moved to run WBA in March 2017.

She also sits on the board of WPP Stella, the holding company’s women’s network.

Gordon said: “Having started my career at Ogilvy UK as a graduate trainee, there is a wonderful circularity about taking the reins of the agency I love now as the CEO – particularly at a time when the UK business is producing award-winning impactful work for our clients across all areas from advertising to PR and experience.

“I'm so energised by the opportunity to lead and cherish Ogilvy UK and look forward to partnering with our fantastic clients and stellar talent, to deliver work that has true impact for all our clients and our people.”

Ogilvy has a tradition of promoting internally to senior leaderships roles but WPP recruited Scottish-born Andy Main from Deloitte Digital, the digital marketing services arm of consulting giant Deloitte, to be global chief executive of Ogilvy to reinvigorate the agency last year.

All four of WPP's main creative networks, Grey, JWT, Ogilvy and Y&R, suffered declining revenues between 2014 and 2019, the company admitted at an investor day in December 2020, and Ogilvy is the only one of the quartet that has not been merged with another WPP entity.

JWT became Wunderman Thompson, Y&R became VMLY&R and Grey became part of AKQA Group.