Michael Frohlich is leaving his role as chief executive of Ogilvy UK to become EMEA chief executive at Interpublic Group PR agency Weber Shandwick, a year after Tim Sutton vacated the role.
Ogilvy's EMEA chief executive and chair Paul O'Donnell will take the reins of the UK business while the agency searches for Frohlich's successor.
Frohlich served as Ogilvy chief executive as the agency restructured its business from a collection of individual agencies into the Ogilvy One integrated model, in which the business operates as a single entity under a single P&L. At the time, Frohlich described the “bumpy” transition, which included redundancies, as “darkness followed by light”.
As EMEA chief executive of Weber Shandwick, Michael Frohlich’s role will include helping the agency grow in the region and overseeing the development of communications and marketing solutions for its clients.
He will be charged with integrating the "sector and service expertise" of Weber Shandwick across its EMEA-based specialist agencies – That Lot, Flipside and Prime Weber Shandwick.
Prior to his role as Ogilvy chief executive, Frolich was the chief executive of Ogilvy’s PR business in the UK and EMEA. He was promoted to lead the integrated Ogilvy UK business in 2018.
His career has spanned more than two decades, during which he has also held senior management roles at Bell Pottinger, Resonate Communications, VCCP and Shine Communications, among other agencies.
Frohlich will report to Weber Shandwick chief growth officer Susan Howe, who has leadership responsibility for all the firm’s regions.
He will also report to global president and chief executive Gail Heimann, and lead Weber Shandwick’s Global Transformation Program, an initiative designed to champion and export “boundary-pushing innovation from EMEA around the world and ignite client-centric solutions on a global scale”.
“Michael makes change happen,” Heimann said. “He is a brave thinker, consummate strategist and the kind of leader who pushes for the best and brings the best out in everyone around him. He is a stellar addition to our team.”
Howe added: “Michael’s track record of fostering, collaborating and championing the kinds of integrated offers that clients need today is unparalleled. His deep communications expertise combined with his experience running cross-discipline businesses will bring incredible value to our already strong leadership team and operations across EMEA.”
Frohlich, a PR Week UK Power Book regular, said: “Weber Shandwick has made bold moves – across digital, innovation, analytics and organisational transformation – to transform the agency into the kind of deeply valued business partner that can solve problems plaguing not just chief communications officers, but CEOs and CMOs, as well.
“I can’t wait to be a part of this incredible agency and work with the leadership team to help further bolster its evolution as we lean into the future together.”
Ogilvy UK said it has "enjoyed much success" under Frohlich's leadership, including winning new business with Asics, The Post Office and Google.
Frohlich added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ogilvy. I have found it highly rewarding to be part of one of the most innovative creative networks on earth. We’ve assembled a great team, done some incredible work, and achieved great successes for our clients, all while leading transformation in a rapidly evolving digital environment.”
O'Donnell said: “We’re disappointed to see Michael go, but we have a truly first-class team running the agency across all disciplines delivering for our clients. Michael made a significant contribution in his time at Ogilvy and will be missed on a professional and personal basis. We wish him well with his new chapter.”
This story first appeared in PR Week