Michael Goldberg is stepping down as CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Omnicom agency Zimmerman Advertising after almost six years in the role.
In a statement, Goldberg said he is leaving the role upon return from a family vacation and will transition into a senior advisor role. No immediate long-term successor has been named in the CEO role.
“This is a plan that has been in place for quite a while, only accelerated recently,” Goldberg said, adding that it will allow him “the ability to pursue his personal ambitions of coaching, mentoring and teaching talent.”
Zimmerman founder Jordan Zimmerman explained that he will step into the CEO role on an interim basis, with Zimmerman COO David Kissell, managing director Mike Divine and president Ronnie Haligman helping to manage Goldberg’s former responsibilities.
Part of Goldberg’s role as a senior advisor will be to help Zimmerman and the executive team determine a succession plan and a strategy for evolution.
“We’ve talked for almost five years about when he was going to make this transition,” Jordan Zimmerman, Zimmerman founder and chairman, told Adweek. “He’s a great coach and he’s done a terrific job.”
Zimmerman added that Goldberg would still have an office at the agency that he can utilize as he splits his time between the office and working remotely in his advisory role. In the meantime, the agency will seek to fill the CEO role internally before determining if an external search is necessary.
Goldberg joined Zimmerman as CEO in 2014, following two years as partner and chief marketing officer at Deutsch New York. Earlier in his career, Goldberg spent eight years with Zimmerman before leaving his chief marketing officer role for a short stint as senior partner, chief marketing officer at Porter Novelli about eight years ago.
The leadership transition at the agency follows a round of layoffs and furloughs Zimmerman Advertising in April attributed to the business impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which followed Omnicom CEO John Wren outlining a series of cost-cutting measures across Omnicom agencies earlier in the month, including layoffs and furloughs across Omnicom agencies.
Zimmerman remains optimistic for the future, citing new business opportunities and a focus on analytics, while adding that Goldberg will remain an important part of the agency.
“Michael and I will be there forever,” he said. “I’m sure one day I’ll go into an emeritus chairman role but for now, I love the day-to-day and find it challenging.”