This article was originally published by the Wall Street Journal.
Ad giant Omnicom Group Inc. has promoted Daryl Simm, chief executive officer of the company’s media agency group, to the newly created role of president and chief operating officer of the larger ad holding company.
The appointment sheds some light on the company’s plans for succession as John Wren, 69 years old, nears two and a half decades at the helm. It also highlights the importance of the entity’s media operation as many advertisers give priority to data and technology over traditional creative campaigns. Mr. Wren was named CEO and President in 1997. He became Chairman and CEO in 2018.
“This recognition certainly puts Daryl in a strong position to lead Omnicom into the future,” said an Omnicom spokesperson.
Omnicom’s agency groups include TBWA Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide and media agencies PHD Worldwide and OMD Worldwide.
Florian Adamski, global CEO of OMD, replaces Mr. Simm as CEO of Omnicom Media Group. Meanwhile, George Manas, who has served as president and chief media officer of OMD U.S., replaces Mr. Adamski as CEO at OMD, the company announced separately. The executive changes took effect immediately.
Mr. Simm, 60 years old, served as CEO of Omnicom Media Group for more than two decades, Omnicom said.
“Daryl is well-respected across the company and, in partnership with our executive leadership team, has helped us develop our strategy for future growth,” said Mr. Wren in the Monday announcement.
Mr. Wren credits Mr. Simm with developing the company’s media agency network, including investments and initiatives such as the development of Omni, a data and technology platform meant to help clients across Omnicom plan and execute their campaigns.
As well as ending years of speculation about the executive Mr. Wren would prime for the top role, Mr. Simm’s ascension shows how the business of advertising has changed over time. Years ago, creative agencies were the most important and prestigious hubs on Madison Avenue. But as digital platforms have changed the way people consume content and shop, advertisers have had to adjust to using new targeting mechanisms, as well as complex data and technology systems. Media agencies have invested many millions of dollars in building such systems and hiring digital talent that can help advertisers navigate such complexities.