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Ogilvy boss Seifert tells staff: ‘Accept the reality that change is perpetual’

Ogilvy’s global CEO and chairman John Seifert seems to be coming to the end of his big overhaul of the agency, which began two years ago when he took on the role, but he acknowledges that his job will never be done.

In a memo to staff with the subject heading “Next Phase Next Chapter” seen by Adweek, he wrote: “Now may be a moment to move beyond ‘Next Chapter’ as a banner headline of our collective transformation, and simply accept the reality that change is perpetual.”

The latest changes involve expanding Ogilvy’s consulting practice, led by Carla Hendra (who is also chief digital officer), but without committing to acquisitions or investments.

We are still waiting for the new, more diverse Worldwide Creative Council – which Seifert had said he would announce in January. It’s meant to be expanded from 12 to 20 members, and to be made up of at least 50 per cent women.

In the meantime, Seifert has put Philip Heimann in charge of all non-Ogilvy brands, which include David in Miami and South America, Ingo in Sweden and Coley Porter Bell in London and New York. Heimann was previously global lead on SC Johnson.

Antonis Kocheilas moves up the strategy ladder to become global brand strategy lead, while chief delivery officer Gunther Shumacher is moving, after 23 years at the agency, to a Washington DC law firm. Stuart Smith, global CEO of the PR practice, is now working at his wife’s company, Vegolutionary Foods.

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