Ogilvy hunts for new worldwide CEO as John Seifert announces departure

The global chief executive has been with the WPP agency for 41 years.

Ogilvy Worldwide CEO John Seifert will step down from his role at the agency when "a successor is appointed and a leadership transition is completed sometime in 2021," according to an internal memo obtained by Campaign.

Seifert, who sent the email to staff on Tuesday evening, has worked at the WPP agency for 41 years, holding the worldwide CEO position for the last five.

"I have worked closely with Mark Read, Chief Executive of WPP, since his appointment in 2018 on leadership development and succession planning across The Ogilvy Group, and that includes me as well," penned Seifert. "Mark and I have each embarked on ambitious journeys of business and brand transformation for the companies we lead, and nothing is more important to both of us than recruiting and developing top talent."

Seifert adds in the email that he and Read agreed to begin the search for his successor earlier this year, "knowing that this process takes time and thoughtful engagement with potential candidates internally and externally."

"In a moment like this, I am more committed than ever to our people, our clients, and the Ogilvy brand. I will continue to lead Ogilvy with all my strength until a successor is appointed and a leadership transition is completed sometime in 2021," Seifert wrote in the memo.

He goes on to say that it’s been his "extraordinary privilege" to work at Ogilvy, a company he’s been part of since he was an intern in 1979.

"I love this company with all my heart and will be forever supportive of its success," Seifert wrote.

Read more on the firm's 2019 performance in Ogilvy's Agency Business Report profile.

This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.

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