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This article was originally published by Campaign.

Omnicom has promoted Mike Cooper, global chief executive of PHD, to a newly created role as chief executive of Omnicom Media Group APAC and EMEA.

US-based Omnicom Media Group has said it wants to simplify its operations to ensure “greater speed and consistency” and Cooper’s appointment is the first time that the media buying division has brought its Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions under one leader.

Cooper has led PHD since 2007 and secured its biggest win in 2016 when the network won Volkswagen Group’s £2bn global media business in one of the advertising industry’s largest account consolidations.

Cooper, who is 57 and British, runs PHD from London and has previously headed sister network OMD in Asia.

Omnicom Media Group said Cooper’s experience made him “uniquely qualified” for the new position, which he starts in July. He will continue to be based in London.

“Cooper will be responsible for assuring service standards across OMG agencies Hearts & Science, OMD and PHD in markets outside the Americas and driving consistent adoption of transformative technology, products and practices across these markets,” the company said.

“Working with our extraordinary talent across these geographies, I will be focused on growing that share by delivering the technology, products and service that translate to business results for our clients.”

Daryl Simm, chief executive of Omnicom Media Group, said: “Mike’s proven talent for creating and expanding best practices across vastly different local markets has been critical to OMG’s global growth strategy.

“His record, and the respect he has earned from clients and agency teams at every level, speak to his energy, commitment and professionalism – qualities that he will bring to his new role, working with Hearts & Science, OMD and PHD leadership to assure the best outcomes for our clients across APAC and EMEA.”

Those clients include Apple, Daimler, Disney, Google, HSBC, Liberty Global, McDonald’s, the UK government and Volkswagen Group.

As part of his new role, Cooper is taking on the responsibilities of Colin Gottlieb, the long-serving chief executive of Omnicom Media Group in EMEA, who is stepping down and will not be directly replaced.

Peter Poelzlbauer, chief financial officer at Omnicom Media Group in EMEA, will take on an expanded role as CFO for APAC and EMEA.

Tony Harradine, chief executive of Omnicom Media Group in APAC, will continue in his role, based in Singapore.

Cooper’s successor at PHD will be announced shortly.

Simplify and streamline

Cooper’s appointment is part of a global reorganisation to simplify and streamline the media buying division.

It also moved the capabilities in Accuen, its programmatic arm, and Resolution Media, a unit for search and social, back into the three main media agency networks.

“Today, these services are no longer a specialty. They are at the core of how we work with our media clients,” John Wren, global chairman and chief executive of Omnicom, explained on its first-quarter earnings call. “We expect these changes to increase our speed, agility and the quality of service to clients.”

Omnicom also told investors that “we continue to seek out opportunities to increase operational efficiencies”.

The creation of Cooper’s role follows a similar move by rival Publicis Media, which appointed Gerry Boyle as chief executive of EMEA and APAC in April 2018.

Omnicom generates 42% of global revenues from APAC and EMEA at a holding company level, according to the annual report. EMEA represents 31%, APAC 11%, North America 55% and Latin America 3%.

Cooper started his advertising career at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1984 and moved to Asia in 1989, later becoming chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi in Asia.

He spent two years in ad sales at CNBC in the region, before joining Omnicom in 1997 as OMD’s first employee in Asia.

PHD was named Global Media Network of the Year by Campaign in 2016 and 2017, and Cooper was crowned Media Leader of the Year at Campaign’s Media Week Awards in 2018.