Karen van Bergen Named Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Public Relations Group
New York / Feb. 25, 2016 — Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) today announced the broadening of its public relations service offering through its Omnicom Public Relations Group. Omnicom Public Relations Group addresses changing client needs and the growing demand for seamlessly integrated teams, best in class talent across the globe and cutting-edge offerings that leverage the newest technology.
Building upon Omnicom’s core strategies for growth, Omnicom Public Relations Group is focused on attracting talent; creating customized teams for clients; driving best in class client service through technology; and fostering collaboration across agencies, disciplines and geographies. The group will be led by Karen van Bergen who, as CEO, is responsible for the growth of the overall public relations portfolio within Omnicom.
Omnicom Public Relations Group encompasses 10 primary public relations agency brands, including three of the top global agencies worldwide—FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli—creating an organization of more than 6,000 employees. All agencies will continue to operate as independent brands and businesses within Omnicom Public Relations Group.
“Omnicom Public Relations Group expands our integrated service offerings with an increased focus on acquisitions and recruiting top talent, in response to changing client needs and new technologies that are transforming our industry,” said John Wren, president and CEO, Omnicom Group. “Together and as strong independent brands, this group provides the best of the best in the business—from talent and ideas to innovation and creativity—for the benefit of our employees, clients, shareholders and partners.”
Van Bergen joins Omnicom Public Relations Group from Porter Novelli, where she has served as senior partner and global CEO since December 2012. In the past three years, van Bergen led a significant turnaround at the agency, rooted in a renewed focus on talent. Under her leadership, the agency launched a new performance management system with a focus on career pathing for all employees, a succession planning initiative, a new performance-based bonus suite and Greater Than U, a formal professional development and training program. The agency achieved an all-time high employee engagement score in 2015, was recognized as a 2014 PRWeek Best Place to Work and named to the 2015 PR News Top Places to Work list.
Prior to her role as CEO, van Bergen led the New York office as managing director from 2011-2012. She joined Porter Novelli from FleishmanHillard, where she was senior partner and senior vice president, and the global lead for OneVoice—an integrated Omnicom offering that serves Royal Philips Electronics. Before FleishmanHillard, van Bergen served two stints with McDonald’s totaling more than 13 years. She was chief of staff, vice president of corporate affairs for McDonald’s Europe, and director of marketing, communications and government relations McDonald’s Central Europe/Central Asia division.
“Omnicom has been a model of successful cross-agency collaboration, and Karen has been a champion for this strategic focus area throughout her nine years at Omnicom agencies,” said Dale Adams, chairman and CEO, the DAS Group of Companies. “Omnicom Public Relations Group will build on the success we’ve seen here, and Karen is the right leader to take this forward.”
Van Bergen serves on the PR Council board of directors and Omniwomen Governing Body, which aims to increase the influence and number of female leaders throughout Omnicom. She was named to the PRWeek Power List in 2013, 2014 and 2015; selected as 2016 Woman of Influence by New York Business Journal; and inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame in 2015.
“I’m thrilled and honored to take on this exciting new role, which is focused on areas I am deeply passionate about—talent, integration and collaboration,” said van Bergen. “Omnicom Public Relations Group’s holistic approach to these strategic pillars will benefit all agencies in the Public Relations Group family and I look forward to charting our successful path forward—as strong individual brands and as a family of PR agencies.
Omnicom Public Relations Group remains under the DAS Group of Companies umbrella of marketing services agencies.
About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news.
About the DAS Group of Companies
The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.
Katie Beaule [email protected]