According to an internal memo released by CEO John Seifert Friday, Lou Aversano becomes CEO of Ogilvy USA. Stuart Smith, meanwhile, will take charge of operations in Washington DC and the West Coast, working with Aversano to combine the PR and advertising businesses under a single Ogilvy USA brand and P&L.
It is understood that decisions on whether to retain distinct sub-brand identities, such as Ogilvy PR, are still being determined — although Seifert appears keen to discard sub-brands, after previously noting that Ogilvy needed to simplify its numerous entities. “In a world that has got so complicated and so fragmented, I’m not sure that all those different entities signal to the market the brand promise of Ogilvy,” Seifert told Campaign last year.
Smith will retain his global CEO role at Ogilvy PR, working with Seifert as a ‘global enterprise leader’ of the PR discipline. But two other of Ogilvy PR’s senior global executives in New York — global chief communications officer Jennifer Risi and global chief business development officer Suresh Raj — move into group roles. Risi now reports to Ogilvy CMO Lauren Crampsie, while Raj reports to worldwide executive director Paul Heath.
Earlier this week meanwhile, the Holmes Report revealed that Chris Graves is relinguishing his Ogilvy PR global chair role to oversee a new behavioral science unit. The changes will raise questions about the future of the PR brand within Ogilvy, although Seifert’s email notes that “domain expertise” remains critical to the group’s fortunes.
Other key appointments include Günther Schumacher as worldwide chief delivery officer, overseeing a new ‘delivery capability’; Diane Fakhouri as global chief learning officer; and Donna Pedro as global chief diversity officer.