Omnicom Media Group Names Michael Solomon CEO of PHD USA

by savoystaff

Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) has named Michael Solomon CEO of PHD USA.

Solomon, who takes on the new role following three years as the agency’s COO, succeeds Catherine Sullivan, the former network ad sales executive who has held the title since 2020, and is stepping down to return to the sales side of the business.

“Mike’s record of leading iconic brands through transformation agendas, building talented teams and never straying too far from the work, will assure PHD USA continues to be a valuable and trusted strategic partner to our clients,” says PHD Worldwide CEO Philippa Brown. “He personifies the PHD ethos of challenging the status quo, and as CEO he will be extraordinarily effective in empowering all of the agency’s stakeholders – clients, partners and talent – to make the leap that turns unimagined challenges into reimagined opportunities.”

Commenting on Sullivan’s departure, OMG North America CEO Ralph Pardo says, “Catherine led the evolution of PHD USA’s model and talent during an unprecedented time of disruption within the industry, with unwavering commitment to delivering better business outcomes for our clients. We are grateful for her many contributions to the company and look forward to watching her continued success in our industry.”

The transition comes on the heels of a strong year for PHD on the new business front, with the agency adding $656m in incremental billings in 2022 with wins like Restaurant Brands International (Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Horton’s), and broadening its solutions portfolio.

An Omnicom veteran, Solomon joined PHD in 2020 following 16 years with OMG sister agency OMD, where he helped many of the world’s best-known brands—including Bacardi, and Clorox – transform their marketing strategies in response to technology-driven changes in the media ecosystem, helping them navigate the journey from traditional advertiser to data-driven, digital first-mover.

As COO of PHD US, he assured a product offering, talent pool and tech infrastructure that could respond and adjust at the speed of marketplace shifts and changing client needs; and helped redefine organizational priorities as the industry adapted to post-pandemic investment and cultural realities. Concurrent with his agency remit, he also served as the lead of Omnicom Media Group’s Black Leadership Network, driving D&I and multicultural initiatives that addressed talent and client imperatives, and advocating for more inclusive investment strategies to increase diverse-owned media’s share of advertising spend.

Summing up his new mandate, Solomon says, “Over the two decades that I’ve been with Omnicom, I’ve had the opportunity to help some of the world’s best known and most successful brands navigate historic challenges and seismic disruption. As we stand at the crossroads of another period of transformative change in marketing, the lessons learned from my years on the frontlines will enable me to be a valued team member, trusted advisor, and confident, curious and agile leader who delivers for his clients and his people every day.”

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