Ogilvy PR triples size of executive committee

The agency is growing the size of its executive committee from four to 13 members to represent new geographies and ensure more diversity.

Stuart Smith.
Stuart Smith.

NEW YORK: Ogilvy Public Relations has expanded its executive committee from four members to 13, adding a more diverse and global representation of the firm’s management.

The committee, which was previously made up of global CEO Stuart Smith, worldwide chair Chris Graves, regional CEO of Asia-Pacific Scott Kronick, and regional CEO of North America Rob Mathias, has expanded to include six women and members from four new countries. Smith is based in New York, while Kronick is located in Beijing, and both Graves and Mathias are in Washington, DC.

The agency has named the following executives to the committee, effective immediately: Michele Anderson, MD of Chicago; Debby Cheung, president of the Shanghai group; Thomas Crampton, global MD of Social@Ogilvy, based in London; Michael Frohlich, COO of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, based in London; and Joanna Oosthuizen, MD of South Africa.

The committee will also include Stacey Ryan-Cornelius, worldwide controller at Ogilvy & Mather, based in New York; Renata Saraiva, MD of Brazil, representing Latin America; Jennifer Scott, MD of New York; and Andrew Thomas, president of Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.

"It’s absolutely the right thing for our people, our clients, and our business," explained Smith, who has been an outspoken advocate for greater diversity and inclusion. "If nothing else, if I look at the audiences that our clients are trying to get us to reach, we have to be representative of our clients and the diverse range of audiences that they’re asking us to reach."

One goal of the expanded executive committee is to collaborate on a new five-year plan for the agency, with a specific focus on the next three years, said Smith. The agency has a meeting scheduled in the first quarter of next year where it will unveil its new strategy to the entire firm.

Ogilvy PR is also developing a PR board, which will be led by Graves.

"It’s Graves’ board, and as chairman, he has a job to keep me and the rest of the organization honest and make sure we’re doing our very best to challenge the organization on what we do and how we grow," said Smith.

He added that it’s important to him that the board be not only comprised of staffers with the most experience.

Smith noted that the firm will also emphasize acquisitions.

"We’re going to become much more ambitious and agile about making acquisitions, which I think are key to our future," he said.

Those deals could include modern traditional and digital PR agencies, especially in regions such as EMEA, as well as firms specializing in areas such as content, sports marketing, or talent.

"There’s never been a more interesting time for earned media," said Smith, who added that traditional clients want PR firms to work on marketing efforts and marketing clients want PR agencies that can do it all.

"We are going to be the agency that can serve both the CCO and the CMO, and we’re not alone, there are other companies that have that trend, but there are fewer of them than people realize, and we have a strong home advantage being part of the Ogilvy & Mather group," he said.

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