Ogilvy & Mather Appoints Agency Veteran John Seifert as CEO

One of the oldest ad agencies has a new leader at the helm.

What keeps a 68-year-old ad agency consistent and relevant throughout nearly 7 decades (from 1948 to 2016)? One factor is good leadership development, which O&M is showing by appointing to the CEO position a person who has been with the company for 37 years, and knows the firm inside and out.

That person is John Seifert, who succeeds Miles Young. Most recently chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather North America, Seifert will take over as worldwide CEO immediately.

Seifert is known for his ability to form strong relationships with clients, such as American Express and DuPont. Other holding companies have tried to lure him away over the years to run different agencies including Interpublic Group, according to people familiar with the matter. However, Mr. Seifert, 58, has remained at Ogilvy & Mather, one of WPP’s largest agencies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“John Seifert is truly an exemplary Ogilvy citizen. His values and the brand’s values are indistinguishable. And if you talk to his clients you will find a fan club united in admiration of him,” Young said in a statement.

In addition to strong internal leadership development, here are 3 things that we think that make O&M stand out among its competition that might be worth discussing at your firm:

  1. The global chairman shares an office with the creative partner
  2. The company employs a worldwide effectiveness director
  3. O&M measures ethnic diversity

Before running Ogilvy & Mather North America, Seifert led a portfolio of 25 global clients worth nearly $1 billion in revenue. Mr. Seifert joined the agency as a summer intern in 1979. Young, who had served as the agency’s global CEO since 2009, in June announced plans to retire in 2016 to become the warden of his alma mater, New College at Oxford University, the Journal reports.


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