Wren appoints Uva as OMD's chief executive

Omnicom's chief executive, John Wren, has completed a year-long

search for the first president and chief executive of OMD Worldwide with

the appointment of Joe Uva.

Uva, 46, is the president of sales and marketing at Turner Broadcasting

Sales, a division of AOL Time Warner. He will take up the new US-based

post on 1 January 2002.

Daryl Simm, the chairman of Omnicom Media Group, an umbrella company

over Omnicom media operations, has been caretaking the role in the

interim but will now concentrate on non-OMD assets at Omnicom.

Uva's appointment adds a new layer of management to OMD Worldwide. The

heads of the three divisions - OMD Europe's chief executive, Colin

Gottlieb, OMD US's chief executive, Steve Grubbs, and OMD Asia's chief

executive, Mike Cooper - will report into him instead of reporting

directly to Wren.

OMD has been trying to assert itself as a global media business but it

is accepted that the development of its network has been hindered by an

awkward reporting structure and lack of clarity over how the brand sits

with Omnicom's other media assets.

When reporting a rise in profits of 19 per cent to $151.4 million

for the second quarter of 2001 in July, Wren again highlighted the need

to restructure the OMD network in the light of the major media

consolidations in the market.

Omnicom is pinning its hopes on Uva, known as a heavy hitter with a

"bulging contacts book", to transform the OMD network into a

full-service media agency and lead it on an aggressive new-business

drive for media-only reviews, instead of relying on picking up media

buying for existing Omnicom agency clients.

Uva will join OMD's worldwide board of directors which also includes the

chairman and chief executive of BDDO, Allen Rosenshine, the president

and chief executive of DDB, Ken Kaess, the chief executive of TBWA, Jean

Marie Dru, and Simm.

Commenting on the appointment of his new boss, Gottlieb said: "I'm

excited by the developments and it will now be a properly structured

global network."


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