Kathleen Saxton Appointed as Omnicom Group’s Chief Marketing Officer

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Omnicom Group has appointed Kathleen Saxton as Chief Marketing Officer, effective January 1.

In this role, Saxton will be responsible for marketing Omnicom’s capabilities and its omni-channel solutions for global enterprise clients.

Saxton joins Omnicom from MediaLink where she served as Managing Director EMEA, responsible for strategic consulting, agency selection, talent advisory, marketing and sales. She is also co-founder of Advertising Week Europe. Previously, she ran her own talent advisory firm, The Lighthouse, for a decade and held marketing positions at Sky Television, Saatchi & Saatchi, and PHD.

“Kathleen steps into this role with a deep understanding of the solutions that modern global clients want in order to succeed in a transformed consumer world,” said their CEO in a prepared statement. “She is a well-respected thought leader with a wealth of experience across industries, channels and countries. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

In her new role, Saxton will be based in New York and will report directly to Daryl Simm.

What is Omnicom Group?
In 1986, two of the world’s largest advertising agencies at the time—BBDO Worldwide and DDB Needham—merged to form Omnicom Group Inc. The merger was motivated by a desire to better compete against the other large holding companies that had begun to emerge in the 1980s, such as Interpublic and WPP Group.

With the merge came a host of new clients, including PepsiCo, Nissan Motors and Renault. The new company also inherited a strong international presence; between the two agencies that made up Omnicom, there were over 200 offices in 70 countries. In addition to traditional advertising services, these offices provided a full range of marketing and communication services, including public relations, direct marketing and event management.

Omnicom continued to grow rapidly in the following years through a series of acquisitions and mergers with other ad agencies and marketing firms. Notable acquisitions from this period include GGT Group (1995), dirtrack (1996) and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (1996). These acquisitions helped solidify Omnicom’s position as one of the largest marketing companies in the world.

The Modern Era
Since the turn of the century, Omnicom has continued to grow through both organic means and further acquisition. In 2000, Omnicom launched an Internet venture capital fund called @Ventures with $300 million in capital. This was followed by the launch of another fund called Red Dot Ventures in 2003 with $100 million in capital. To date, these two funds have invested in over 85 companies.

In terms of acquisitions, some notable ones from recent years include PHD Network (2012), Blue Planet International Communications Group (2013) and fluidz creative group (2014). Thanks to these acquisitions and others like them, Omnicom now has over 700 offices in over 150 countries around the world employing over 76,000 people.

We’re excited to see what Kathleen Saxton will bring to her new role as Chief Marketing Officer at Omnicom Group. With her wealth of experience and deep understanding of the needs of modern global clients, we’re confident that she’ll be a valuable addition to the team. Welcome aboard, Kathleen!

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