Will Green
Sep 6, 2023

PHD names Guy Marks new global CEO as Philippa Brown steps down

Brown, who was appointed to the CEO role in 2019, is succeeded by Guy Marks.

Guy Marks succeeds Philippa Brown
Guy Marks succeeds Philippa Brown

Guy Marks, CEO EMEA of Omnicom Media Group, has been appointed CEO of PHD Worldwide.

Marks will replace Philippa Brown, who is stepping down after almost four decades in the media industry, including 16 years in leadership positions with OMG. 

OMG said she will focus on “non-executive advisory roles at both the corporate and advocacy levels”.

Marks has been in the role of CEO EMEA at OMG since January 2022 and prior to this he spent four years as CEO of OMD EMEA.

Marks joined OMG in 2014 following Omnicom’s acquisition of Mobile5, the UX, design and tech consultancy service he co-founded.

He said: “As the CEO of PHD – an agency that was born from a transformative concept of media as a strategic tool – my priority will be assuring that every PHD account team around the world have the talent, tools, technology and collective commitment to excellence they need to deliver the transformative ideas, solutions and service that drive growth for our clients, our agency, and our people.”

Marks, who like Brown is British, will take over his new role on 1 October. He will be based in London and report to Florian Adamski, OMG global chief executive. 

His successor as leader of OMG EMEA is expected to be named next week.

Adamski said: “Guy is one of our industry’s most entrepreneurial leaders, with an approach that transformed first OMD’s and subsequently Omnicom Media Group’s offering in EMEA over the past six years. 

“By enabling our agencies to quickly identify, adapt and respond in real time to the challenges of a dramatically changing consumer marketplace, he’s unlocked growth for our clients and made OMG the #1 media agency group for net new business in the EMEA region for the year to date, according to the most recent COMvergence reporting. 

“The fact that, at the same time, he was also one of the network’s key people co-ordinating Omnicom’s boots-on-the-ground Ukrainian relief and rescue efforts tells you everything you need to know about both his character and his leadership skills.”

Brown was named chief executive of PHD in 2019, having previously been UK chief executive of OMG since 2007.

In a memo to staff Brown said her time at OMG had been “more rewarding than I could ever have imagined".

She said: “Guy has a unique understanding of PHD’s challenger brand culture and our commitment to innovation. Most importantly, he knows how to combine and combust these two assets to ignite growth for brands and opportunities for talent. He has proven himself to be a strong and visionary leader who has earned the respect and admiration of clients and colleagues alike.”

Adamski added: “After leading the agency through the Covid crisis, [Brown] brought PHD back stronger than ever, earning Media Network of the Year honours at the 2021 Cannes Festival, winning Diageo, Chanel, Unilever, and most recently, the $300m Grupo Bimbo account. She also launched and oversaw OMG’s Talent Management Community, an initiative offering professional development across the entire career life cycle.

“We are deeply grateful for her tireless leadership, creative vision, and unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of her clients and her people, and we wish her all the best as she redirects her  singular energy, experience, and expertise to an exciting new chapter in her career.”

Volkswagen Group, one of PHD's biggest clients, which it won in 2016, is in the middle of global media agency review.

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