John Seifert, Ogilvy’s worldwide CEO is stepping down from his position when “a successor is appointed and a leadership transition is completed sometime in 2021”.
Earlier this year Seifert and WPP’s chief executive Mark Read agreed that they should begin the process of searching the eventual successor for Seifert, knowing that this process takes time and thoughtful engagement with potential candidates internally and externally.
This June marks the 41st year Seifert has been with Ogilvy, serving as worldwide CEO for the past five years. He joined the agency as a summer intern in 1979 and said he loves Ogilvy with all [his] heart and will forever be supportive of its success.
“I have worked closely with Reading since his appointment in 2018 on leadership development and succession planning across the Ogilvy Group, and that includes me as well,” Seifert said. He added that both him and Read have each embarked on ambitious journeys of business and brand transformation for the companies they lead, and nothing is more important to both of them than recruiting and developing top talent.
“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 said.
In 2018, Seifert oversaw the unifying of OgilvyOne, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, and Ogilvy Public Relations under a single group with a common identity, positioning, client service model and P&L. The unified group, which includes a new organizational structure and brand identity, also includes various company sub-brands and specialty brands. ‘He previously said that this was “the largest transformation” in the agency’s history. To meet the changing needs of its clients, it took the bold step of redefining the agency and built a new model for the industry, which Ogilvy helped to create 70 years ago’ Seifert explained.