OMG hires Henry Rowe and Laura Collins to lead digital

New chief digital officer and group performance director join from Theorem and Merkle respectively.

Laura Collins (l) and Henry Rowe: joining OMG
Laura Collins (l) and Henry Rowe: joining OMG

Omnicom Media Group UK has strengthened its digital offering with two significant hires. 

Henry Rowe, president and chief strategy officer at Theorem, is joining OMG as its chief digital officer, while Laura Collins, vice president and head of media at Merkle, will take on the new role of group performance director.

When he starts in mid-August, Rowe’s responsibilities will span the group’s agencies including OMD UK, Manning Gottlieb OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science. Rowe will support both Omnicom’s media clients and its agencies on their digital transformation, develop the group's capabilities and lead strategy.

His full title will be chief strategy officer and chief digital officer and he will sit on the OMG UK board and report to Dan Clays, OMG UK chief executive. 

Adam Pace was chief digital officer at OMG UK until October last year. The group does not currently have a CSO.

In his current position at the digital marketing specialist Theorem, Rowe leads a team of 1,000 globally working with brands such as Netflix, Salesforce, News Corp and Amazon.

Rowe joined Theorem in 2015 after selling FaR Partners, the consultancy specialising in digital media he founded after leaving Carat in 2008. At Carat he was managing director of Carat Digital.

Clays said: “Henry brings deep technical expertise and experience through a strategic lens, and has operated in holding group businesses, independent, digital marketing services and consulted inside clients. 

“Everyone he’s worked with – agencies, clients and partners – waxes lyrical about him, and he’s a strong believer in building brilliant cultures. His appointment reflects our ongoing focus on having the most advanced digital, data and technology capabilities in market for clients, and development opportunities for our talent.”

Omnicom has charged Collins – who will start in late September – with assisting its agencies to develop their performance media proposition in this new role for the company.

The central performance team will report to her and there will be a dotted line from performance leads across the group to Collins. She will report to Rowe.

As head of media at Merkle since October 2020, Collins led a 200-strong division, devising its vision and strategic direction and taking responsibility for its growth as well as staff and client retention.

Campaign named Collins a Female Frontier Honouree in 2021 for her contribution to diversity and inclusion. She has been Merkle UK’s diversity and inclusion lead since 2018.

At Merkle – and Periscopix, which Merkle bought in 2015 – since 2013, Collins rose quickly up the ranks, becoming head of paid social in 2017, senior director of digital delivery in 2019 and vice president of digital delivery in April 2020.

Clays said: “[Laura is] an exceptional talent, with real expertise, who understands both the needs of the agencies and clients – and is hugely passionate about talent and an inclusive culture.”