NEW YORK: John Bell, global MD of Social@Ogilvy, is leaving Ogilvy Public Relations after 13 years to take a position at Travelers Insurance, according to an internal memo seen by PRWeek.
Bell, who led and helped to grow the Social@Ogilvy global cross-discipline social media practice, will serve as VP of enterprise digital marketing at Travelers. He will relocate from Washington, DC, to Connecticut for the position. Travelers' headquarters is in Hartford, CT.
He will start work at the insurance company on December 11, reporting to Lisa Caputo, EVP for marketing and communications.
“[Bell] is one of the great innovators in the digital marketing space, bringing to Travelers more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications,” Caputo said in a statement. “We are delighted to have him on our team as we work to establish a high-impact digital marketing presence that will support and build our brand and broaden our reach to customers and agents.”
Both Travelers and Ogilvy declined further comment on Bell's move.
“[Bell] led us early and boldly, making Ogilvy PR a vanguard in the industry,” said Ogilvy PR global CEO Christopher Graves, in the agency memo. “[Bell] was the architect who laid the cornerstone of such an important part of our future.”
Ogilvy & Mather launched Social@Ogilvy in February 2012, folding in Ogilvy PR's 360 Degree Digital Influence practice, which had handled social media for marketing, PR, and communications clients. Bell was named the head of the practice at that time.
He joined Ogilvy PR in April 2001, serving as SVP and creative director, according to his LinkedIn profile. In 2005, Bell helped to launch 360 Degree Digital Influence, and was promoted to MD of the group in September 2006. He also served as the executive creative director of creative studio, Ogilvy's interactive, broadcast, and print design group.
In April 2007, Bell was elected to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association board of directors.
Prior to joining Ogilvy, Bell launched an education and technology startup called HiFusion. Before that, he served as VP and creative director at Discovery Communications for nearly a year and a half.
In addition to Bell's departure, Ogilvy global technology practice leader Luca Penati has taken on the new role of social and content head for Ogilvy West, overseeing Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Denver.
In January, former JPMorgan Chase communications executive Patrick Linehan joined Travelers as VP of corporate communications.