DDB has elevated Tomas Gonsorcik to global chief strategy officer, the agency shared exclusively with Campaign US.
Gonsorcik joins the global leadership team from his previous role as chief strategy officer for DDB in North America, which he took on in September 2022. Prior to that he spent more than a decade at VML and then VMLY&R post its merger with Young & Rubicam in 2018. He has led strategy for global brands including The Coca-Cola Company, The Ford Motor Company, Colgate-Palmolive and McDonald’s.
He will be based out of the agency’s NYC headquarters.
He fills the position left vacant by Alex Hesz, who left DDB in December 2021 to join Dentsu International as global chief strategy officer. Hesz abruptly pulled out of the position in October 2022 before starting with Dentsu to return to Omnicom in the same role.
Gonsorcik will lead the strategy practice across DDB’s global agency network, partnering closely with global CEO Alex Lubar, global president and chief operating officer Glen Lomas and newly appointed international president and chief creative officer Chaka Sobhani.
In his role, he plans to standardize and codify a set of tools and processes each of DDB’s agencies can tap into, while allowing them to approach strategy based on their individual cultures and market needs.
“We see tremendous value in the flexibility and entrepreneurship that comes from local level agencies and how they go to market,” Gonsorcik said. “As long as we believe in what our core competency is, the individual agencies are able to flex and adapt based on what allows them to win based on the maturity of the market, client cultures and their individual strengths.”
Lubar called it a “pull versus push” approach that is meant to support the “autonomy and idiosyncratic practices” of each office while adding “global connective tissue.”
“There is not a heavy handed mandate on how to operate,” he added. “When you have the greatest talent around the world and you give them reasons to want to engage as a collective, that is much more effective than being heavy handed and pushing down a single approach to delivering great work.”
A few tools that will be standardized across the network include a consistent approach to media and data integration built on the back of Omni, Omnicom’s internal software platform, as well as DDB’s “bullseye” creative process for elevating the best ideas.
“It's a healthy mix of shared beliefs, dynamic toolsets and rituals that help the companies feel connected to things,” Gonsorcik said.
As for DDB’s emphasis on strategy, Lubar described it as going “hand in hand” with great creative, which is why it's critical that Gonsorcik work closely with Sobhani in her new role.
“Great creative is only great creative because of its efficacy,” Lubar said.
Gonsorcik steps into the global role after what he described as a period of transformation in North America, including the merging of Adam & Eve DDB and DDB New York in May amid an overhaul of the regional executive leadership team. Gonsorcik has since brought in new strategy talent and leaders, including Amanda Peters as head of strategy at Adam & Eve DDB New York in January.
“We all say it's a people business, but in the world of procurement and resource management, that can fall by the wayside very quickly,” he said. “It's important that in each market we operate in, talent can feel DDB is the best place to work.”
Gonsorcik is the latest appointment on Lubar’s global leadership team since he took on the role in October. He estimates he is “90% there” in terms of making key hires.