Simm’s elevation at Omnicom shows march of media execs

Omnicom’s top media exec Daryl Simm is in the box seat to succeed long-serving John Wren as boss of the ad holding company. The US-based Omnicom, once famous for its trio of big creative agencies – BBDO, DDB and TBWA – is now, like its peers, increasingly a media and data focussed business.

Simm (left), formerly head of Omnicom Media Group, is to be president and COO. OMD’s Florian Adamski (yes, branding experts Omnicom still, confusingly, have OMD as well as OMG) succeeds Simm.

For years in looked as though BBDO boss Andrew Robertson was the heir apparent to Wren but creative agencies have slipped own the holding company pecking order. WPP’s next CEO, if it’s an internal appointment, will almost certainly come from media operation GroupM.

Which should raise a wry smile among those media execs old enough to remember the full service days when media was pretty much an afterthought.

Chairman and CEO Wren says: “Daryl is well-respected across the company and, in partnership with our executive leadership team, has helped us develop our strategy for future growth. I am very pleased to have him in this new role at Omnicom.”

New OMG boss Adamski is credited with much of the heavy lifting that helped Omnicom win the combined Mercedes business.

All the ad holding companies are now pretty much neck and neck in terms of market capitalisation although WPP remains the biggest by sales. Omnicom’s US rival Interpublic, the original ad holding company although for years a laggard, has caught up Omnicom after several years of best in class performance.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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