Ogilvy UK's consolidation puts senior leadership on alert

As Ogilvy consolidates all its sub-brands under a single P&L the agency's first step is to recruit a single leadership team.

Frolich will lead the new consolidated leadership team in the UK
Frolich will lead the new consolidated leadership team in the UK

The process is global but started in the US at the beginning of 2017 under the leadership of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide chairman and chief executive, John Seifert. 

It is unconnected to the sudden resignation last weekend of Ogilvy's parent company's chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell

Ogilvy UK has been in "transition" towards this new model over the past year and the first big step will be to put in place a "single leadership team with newly defined and different roles to ensure a unified approach," Michael Frohlich, chief executive of Ogilvy UK told Campaign.

In February, Frohlich was promoted to his current position from his previous role as Ogilvy PR's EMEA chief. He replaced Annette King who resigned at the end of last year to run Publicis Groupe's UK operations.  

Ogilvy PR UK's chief executive, Marshall Manson resigned in October last year and has not been replaced. 

The agency's remaining management team has been put under consultation and that the new team will be led by Frohlich, according to a well-placed source. While the creative department has been ring-fenced, the agency's top brass will have to "pitch" for leadership roles. 

When asked about this, Frohlich would only say that the agency has been in "deep discussion" with all its leaders to "help establish what the business requires and they individually desire in the new Ogilvy structure".

"It’s an exciting time for us at Ogilvy as we transition into a new way of operating that we know will enormously benefit both our clients and our talent," Frohlich said. "The evolution over the past 12 months has allowed us to step back and redefine our model for the future - this reshaping includes behavioural, structural and operational changes as well as leadership ones."

The agency will be announcing its new leadership team in the coming weeks which will include familiar Ogilvy names as well as some new faces, he added. "Change is hard, but change is also good and perhaps most importantly it creates opportunities for growth across all areas of the business."

The agency's sub-brands are currently lead by:

  • Charlie Rudd, chief executive, Ogilvy & Mather London
  • Jo Coombs, chief executive, OgilvyOne
  • Ann Higgins, managing director, consulting principle, OgilvyRed
  • Gloria Gibbons, practice lead, Ogilvy Global Health and Wellness
  • Mark Lainas, managing director, OgilvyChange, Social Lab
  • Vicky Bullen, chief executive, Coley Porter Bell
  • Ivan Mason, chief executive, Hogarth
  • Sam Williams-Thomas, chief executive, OgilvyOne Business