DDB Worldwide today announced two changes at the top. The ad giant named Marty O’Halloran as its new global CEO and Justin Thomas-Copeland as CEO of the network’s North America region.
Both executives come from parent Omnicom Group roles. O’Halloran was previously chairman and CEO of DDB Group Australia and New Zealand, while Thomas-Copeland served as global CEO for OPMG Health, part of the Omnicom Precision Marketing Group.
O’Halloran is taking the reins from Chuck Brymer, DDB Worldwide’s chairman who had temporarily assumed CEO duties when Wendy Clark left in April.
Clark, who helmed DDB Worldwide for two years, was previously head of North American operations. That role had remained open during her tenure as DDB Worldwide CEO, leaving two pivotal roles to fill.
In a letter to DDB Worldwide staffers obtained by Campaign, Brymer referenced the "unprecedented amount of turmoil in the world," adding that the "business remains strong and the work we are producing for our clients is world-class."
O’Halloran and Thomas-Copeland will be relocating to New York in the coming weeks. O’Halloran has held leadership roles in New Zealand and Australia since 2001, and he also sits on the board of the Omnicom Media Group, ANZ.
"Marty has a remarkable track record and a relentless focus on adding value," said Brymer in a statement. "With his guidance and leadership, DDB has become a creative force across Australia and New Zealand. Marty knows that creativity is the most powerful force in business and has a reputation for delivering long-term success for our clients."
Meanwhile, Thomas-Copeland, a native of the United Kingdom, has been based in Brussels for OPMG Health. He previously worked at Omnicom’s Rapp consumer experience agency, as president and CEO in New York. His career has taken him to Moscow, Singapore, London and Switzerland, where he worked for Novartis.
"Justin has been a standout leader within Omnicom, using his ability to glean intelligence out of complex data to inform smart, effective creative," said Brymer in a statement. "I’m thrilled to have Justin bring his skills and capabilities in data and his eye for creativity to lead the team in North America."
At DDB Worldwide and North America, O’Halloran and Thomas-Copeland will lead relationships with global clients that include McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Unilever and Mars, and Molson Coors in North America.