The Rundown: Omnicom elevates media-side exec to No. 2 position — and a domino effect of promotion follows


Omnicom shuffled its leadership on Monday, elevating its top media-side executive to a leadership position across the creative sides too. 

Daryl Simm, the longtime global CEO of Omnicom Media Group (OMG), becomes president and COO of the parent company, reporting to global CEO John Wren. Replacing Simm as head of OMG is Florian Adamski, the CEO of OMD Worldwide, the main media agency within OMG. And replacing Adamski as global head of OMD is George Manas, who has been chief media officer at OMD U.S. 

Omnicom declined to make any of the executives available at press time, but there are a few standout elements to the news: 

  • The move is a testament to the importance of media-side knowledge and acumen as technology deeply affects the creative side of the business. The advent of socially driven campaigns as well as the explosion of connected TV has put immense pressure on the creative side of the agency world to find cost-effective solutions.
  • In a statement, Wren specifically pointed to the development of the data-driven Omni platform being used across 40,000 Omnicom employees as a proverbial feather in Simm’s cap. Omni has factored into many of OMG’s moves, including the creation of a consumer panel to generate first-party data and insights for its clients.
  • Internally, the move is seen as succession planning, with Simm, 60, being groomed to take over the agency holding company when Wren, 69, retires — but when that happens is unclear. Simm has largely operated behind the scenes in running OMG, and it remains to be seen how visible his new role will be. 
  • Simm also counts the launches of both the PHD media agency and, more recently, hybrid media/data marketing agency Hearts & Science, in his accomplishment during his OMG tenure. 
  • In his statement announcing the moves, Wren credited Adamski for OMG’s recent win of Mercedes Benz business. “As evidenced by our recent Mercedes-Benz win, Florian’s ability to work across different geographies and cultures, as well as his unique ability to solve client challenges by bringing together the best of our service offerings across the company, makes him well-suited for this larger role at the OMG level,” said Wren.
  • Manas oversaw the U.S. rollout of OMD Design, OMD’s connection into the Omni platform. Prior to OMD U.S., Manas was President of Omnicom Media Group’s performance unit, Resolution Media.
  • To round out the domino effect of all the promotions within Omnicom, Manas will be replaced by Mandy Walis who becomes COO of OMD U.S., reporting into OMD U.S. CEO John Osborn. Walis, who exits WPP agency Essence, where she was vp of product strategy management, will oversee the agency’s Business Transformation Office.

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