Omnicom Media taps Hearts & Science CEO for top NA job

Hagadorn will replace outgoing boss Page Thompson / Omnicom

Omnicom has appointed Hearts & Science founder and boss, Scott Hagedorn, to head up its North American media buying division.

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Hagedorn is to take up the role of North American chief executive for Omnicom Media Group, which works with the likes of McDonald's and PepsiCo.

Hagadorn will replace outgoing media boss Page Thompson, who is retiring after more than four decades with the holding giant.

Having worked with the group for 15 years, Hagedorn has played a significant role in the scaling up OMG's data and analytics business.

A well as founding Hearts & Science, he previously launched and headed up Annalect Group, which since 2010 has been focused on helping brands deliver big data and programmatic strategies for brands.

In his new role, the exec will be tasked with driving Omnicom’s push into e-commerce services and ramping up the use of Omni – a marketing system that stores anonymized consumer data from various providers across the different operating units within Omnicom.

Dovetailing the appointment, the business has promoted its chief of investments John Swift to the newly-created post of chief operating officer for North America at Omnicom Media Group.

In the face of growing competition from Facebook and Google, and transformation efforts from rivals like WPP and Publicis, the appointments signal that the agency is willing to invest in ways that better integrate data and media buying.

Earlier this week, Omnicom revealed it had performed well over the fourth quarter of 2018, posting organic revenue growth for the period. However, global chief executive John Wren suggested that the re-engineering that rival holding groups were undertaking was putting pressure on his own business.

"Running a company, you don't mind when your competitors are weak, [but] you really don't like it when your competitors are wounded because they tend to do things that they wouldn't do if they were simply weak. So it's been a rather competitive environment the last six months or so," Wren said.

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