Arthur Fleischmann has been working double duty lately after adding the title group CEO for Ogilvy Canada and John St.
The added responsibility follows the recent retirements of Ogilvy CEO Laurie Young, CSO Guy Stevenson and CFO Andy Watson.
“Ogilvy New York said we need some thinking, and some boots on the ground—would you step in to build a new executive team at Ogilvy and have that team report to you,” said Fleischmann. His first priority is to hire a CEO for Ogilvy, an appointment he hopes to make soon.
Fleischmann remains based at John St. as CEO, but there have been some executive level changes there too, most notably the promotion of Stephanie Hurst to president and Megan Towers to chief strategy officer. Angus Tucker will continue to oversee creative as chief creative officer.
Fleischmann said that both Hurst and Towers have been part of the long-term succession plan at John St.
“Stephanie’s partnership with Angus and me spans nearly 20 years across two agencies,” said Fleischmann. “At John St., she led our largest accounts prior to taking on the role of executive director of client engagement and joining our executive team in 2017.” Hurst will report to Fleischmann, leading day-to-day operations while overseeing client engagement.
“Megan has also been a foundational member of the John St. team for over a decade,” said Fleischmann. “She has a broad range of experience in account service, marketing leadership and strategic planning. Our clients will continue to benefit from Megan’s sense-making and creative problem solving.”
The Ogilvy role is not a precursor to any merger of the two agencies, he said. John St. has a new president (and Fleischmann remains CEO there), while Ogilvy will soon have a new CEO. Aside from having new leadership in place at both agencies, client conflicts would make a merger unfeasible.
“Overall, I will be looking at how to manage the portfolio of brands (John St. and Ogilvy) to ensure the brands remain distinct, strong and successful,” he said.