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