Today, Omnicom Media Group named a woman to a global chief executive role for the first time. Philippa Brown, who previously served as CEO for Omnicom Media Group U.K., has been promoted to the role of CEO for PHD Worldwide, effective July 1. She will be based in London and report to OMG CEO Daryl Simm.
Brown succeeds Mike Cooper, who was appointed Group CEO for Omnicom Media Group APAC and EMEA. The news comes following an announcement from Colin Gottlieb, who formerly held Cooper’s role, that he will be stepping down after nearly 20 years. Gottlieb will take on an advisory role after the transition.
“Philippa is a proven leader and a natural fit to lead PHD globally. As CEO of OMG UK, she has worked closely with Mike Cooper in the original positioning of PHD as a global network, and has been heavily involved in PHD’s international client successes,” Simm said in a statement. “She has singular insight into PHD’s culture, the expectations that clients have of the agency and the ongoing transformation required for success.”
“Over the past decade, PHD has become one of the most respected agency networks in the industry. Its growth, thought leadership and award-winning work is a testament to Mike Cooper’s leadership and the combined contributions of our many talented people all around the world,” Brown added. “My job—working with all the PHD offices and our clients—is to now build on the great success that has already been achieved.”
In her previous role, Brown oversaw a team of 1,600 serving a client roster of over 270 clients. She joined Omnicom Media Group U.K. in 2007 and helped expand U.K. operations, including the launch of Hearts & Science in the U.K., as well as the expansion of Manning Gottlieb. Before joining Omnicom Media Group, she spent 10 years at IPC Media, where she most recently served as board director.
Simm announced the news in an internal memo in which he cited Gottlieb’s “unprecedented contributions to our organization.”
“We wouldn’t be where we are as a global organization, to say nothing of the growth in EMEA, without his enduring passion for our clients and people, combined with his creative spirit and entrepreneurial energy,” Simm wrote in the memo.
Patrick Coffee contributed reporting to this story.