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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ogilvy Public Relations Promotes Mathias and Friedman into New Roles Heading up North America and the West Respectively

 Ogilvy Public Relations, an integrated, global communications firm, today announced key executive changes designed to strengthen and position the U.S. operation for continued growth.

Robert Mathias has been promoted to Regional CEO North America effective immediately, reporting to Ogilvy PR Global CEO Christopher Graves and Ogilvy & Mather Chairman and CEO of North AmericaJohn Seifert. Mathias currently serves as President of Ogilvy Washington, the largest single office in the Ogilvy PR network and will continue to lead in a dual role.
"In so many ways, Ogilvy Washington has become a best practice for us worldwide—from being a top performer in client service and business growth, to a top achiever in staff education and development," said Graves. "That's a real testament to Rob's leadership. Now we want him to connect all of our U.S. offices at that high level of competence."
In his new role, Mathias will work across all North American offices and practices to further the firm's development and ensure excellence in the areas of client service, talent management and business performance. He will work to increasingly unite all North American operations so that clients will benefit from the totality of Ogilvy PR's offerings. Additionally, Mathias will collaborate with his senior counterparts at Ogilvy & Mather to optimize the assets of the integrated firm in the region.
"We know Rob is just the right person to bring sound judgment, strategy and clarity to what can be a complex environment," added John Seifert, Ogilvy & Mather Chairman and CEO of North America. "Leadership at Ogilvy requires high levels of collaboration among Ogilvy & Mather's expert disciplines in fast-changing landscapes. Rob has that proven ability."
Mathias first joined Ogilvy PR in 1988 and headed up the San Francisco office before assuming leadership of the Washington office. During a public service hiatus from Ogilvy, Mathias worked in President George H.W. Bush's (41) administration as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and, subsequently, as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy.
In addition, Nathan Friedman, currently Managing Director of the Ogilvy PR Chicago office, is elevated to the role of Regional Managing Director, Ogilvy PR West. This is an expansion of his responsibilities that will now include overseeing the agency's operations in SacramentoSan FranciscoLos Angeles and Denver. He will temporarily oversee the Chicago operation until a replacement is announced.
"Nathan has more than doubled the size of our Chicago office in just a few years, in no small part due to his ability to hire, work with and lead a team of giants. He is hugely valued in his client counsel and is driven to foster a positive culture. These are hallmarks of a true Ogilvy leader," said Graves.
Friedman will be responsible for all financial, personnel and client responsibilities for the four offices. Beyond his office head duties in Chicago, Friedman has served as a client leader on some of the agency's most significant global accounts such as LG Electronics, earning the deep respect, trust and admiration of clients at the highest levels.
Friedman joined Ogilvy PR in 1999 and was appointed Managing Director of the Chicago office in 2009. He was recently named to PRWeek's "40 Under 40" list.
Friedman will replace Michael Law, a 22-year veteran of Ogilvy PR who will transition into a new role at WPP-owned agency Burson-Marsteller.  Law worked in the Ogilvy Washington office for a decade before serving as Ogilvy PR President of Southeast Asia for four years. He took the helm at Ogilvy West in 2004.
"We will very much miss Michael," said Graves. "He is a man of vision and decency who gave us 22 wonderful years of his career. We will still be working closely with Michael through joint WPP accounts and I'm grateful for that. Few may know that Michael is an avid mountain climber. He's seeking his next summit and we wish him all the very best."