10 questions with... John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom Group

John Wren, Omnicom chief executive

The Drum speaks to people across the global media and marketing sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions With... features Omnicom group chief executive, John Wren.

What was your first job?

My first job, at the age of 15, was a cofounder of a tie-dyed T-shirt manufacturing business. It was a great education, we designed, manufactured, and sold our products. After university, I joined Arthur Anderson & Co.

Why did you get into marketing?

I joined Needham Harper Worldwide as executive vice president and was fortunate to join an entrepreneurial organization whose IP is creativity.

Shortly, after I joined, I became part of the team that created Omnicom more than 30 years ago.

Who is your favorite person to work with?

I don’t have ‘favorites’ at work but the people I like have similar qualities: inquisitive, thoughtful, have a sense of humor, and a passion for getting results.

What is your ideal work night out?

Having dinner with a happy client.

If you could go to one marketing event this year, which would you, choose?

Cannes Lions - I dread going but always come away inspired by our young Creatives.

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?

All acronyms

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

Quite simply – constant change. It’s amazing our business is constantly changing. One constant is it’s all about the consumer. Our agencies evolve daily as new technologies and innovations lead to a proliferation of media channels, audience, consumer interactions, and real-time data. Much more to come.

What is the greatest book you’ve read?

Not sure I have a single book – over the break, I read three books Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, The Tycoons by Charles Morris, and Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre.

Who is the person you most want to meet in the industry?

I have been fortunate to meet with many fascinating people over the years.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Listen before you speak and surround yourself with smart, talented people who have common goals.

10 Questions With... will return next week.

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