DDB has promoted its North America boss Wendy Clark to global president and CEO of DDB Worldwide.
Clark has led the US business for close to two years after joining from Coca-Cola where she was CMO. She was the driving force behind the group winning McDOnald’s US$820 million business and setting up a bespoke agency to run it.
She was tasked with reviving the agency giant and Clark told AdNews on a recent trip to Australia that the decision to take the leap from arguably one of the most high−profile client−side gigs in the world to a similarly high−profile agency role was borne out of a reverence for advertising, according to Clark, and the legacy of DDB founder Bill Bernbach.
“The notion that his agency in his home market was not at its best was unthinkable to me as a lover of advertising. I just felt duty−bound to do it,” she revealed in November.
The greatest lesson Clark has had to learn on the other side has been resilience and getting used to losing. Which, for someone so competitive, has not been an easy lesson.
Her passion for advertiisng is clear, and she talks about it like a drug.
“It’s the best drug ever ... it’s probably dangerous to say this but if someone said ‘we’re not going to pay you for today’ I’d probably do it anyway!" Clark revealed.
Read the profile: Five Minutes With... DDB's Wendy Clark: Advertising and other drugs
She takes over from Chuck Brymer who becomes chairman.
Brymer says: "After 12 terrific years as the head of DDB, I am excited to hand the baton to Wendy. She is passionate about our business and clients, and has proven to be an inspiring leader for our company. I look forward to helping Wendy continue to foster an environment where our people can do their best work."
She has also introduced DDB Flex, an operating model that helps integrated, cross agency teams work together, and introduced an initiative to encourage more women in creative and rolled out unconscious bias training across the agency.
Clark says: "I've loved every minute of the last two years with our DDB North America team and clients creating the resurgence of this majestic, important agency. To now have the opportunity to follow Chuck's legacy of leadership and work with our global teams and clients is both humbling and exciting."
John Wren, Omnicom president and CEO, adds: "At Omnicom, we recognize the importance of succession planning, and Chuck and I knew that Wendy would be the right person to take the helm of DDB. Her experience leading DDB North America coupled with her expertise as a leading marketer makes this a seamless leadership transition that will build upon DDB's capabilities and reputation as a leader in the business."
DDB has more than 200 offices in 100 countries. It is headquartered in New York.
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