Ogilvy & Mather UK has hired BBH COO Charlie Rudd (left) as its new CEO, replacing Cheryl Giovannoni who left last month.
Rudd was MD of BBH UK from 2008 to 2014, when he was moved to COO, “leading collaboration” between the main agency and offshoots like BBH Sport and its new production unit. Hw was replaced as MD by Mel Exon.
CEO of Ogilvy in London has been more the electric chair than the usual hot seat. A stream of top managers have come and gone, including Giovannoni’s predecessor Hugh Baillie, who also joined from BBH. Baillie left to found short-lived agency Hello People and then moved to Grand Union.
It’s something of a mystery why the CEO’s job at Ogilvy is so tough: the agency has both talent and scale. Some ascribe the problem to the agency’s focus on big global accounts to the detriment of UK business.
Another mystery is why so many former BBH suits go off to run other agencies and fail to make a go of it. Ogilvy and Rudd will be hoping he proves the exception to both rules.
The ‘Big Red Machine’ churns and burns people and those that survive at Ogilvy are either a. Political animals or b. Mad