John Seifert overcomes past controversies to land top global Ogilvy & Mather job

Seifert_John_2012_cr_Robyn_Twomey_courtesy_Ogilvy__MatherOgilvy & Mather lifer John Seifert (left), currently North America chairman and CEO, has taken over from Brit Miles Young as CEO of WPP’s biggest agency network.

Young is going off to be warden of his alma mater New College Oxford although he’ll still be advising some O&M clients.

Back in 2011 Seifert found himself potentially in the firing line when Ogilvy was accused by an employee of deliberately overcharging big client IBM for online ads. Seifert didn’t deny the overcharging but blamed it on the media owners.

In 2005 Seifert’s wife Shona, then at Ogilvy, was jailed for 18 months for over-billing the US government for work on the Office of National Drug Control.

In many ways agencies these days are like law firms: it’s all about billable hours.

Something new Ogilvy boss Seifert should know a lot about.

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