Omnicom media agency OMD UK has promoted managing director Laura Fention to chief executive. Laura has been MD since 2018.
Fenton has worked at Omnicom Media Group for the past 16 years, all within OMD UK except for a three-year stint as client services director at Drum. She became a managing partner in 2017 and MD the following year.
During her leadership, Fenton has rolled out a progressive client-centric operating model, helped OMD become the most-shortlisted agency at this year’s Media Week Awards and recently landed the £60m Lidl buying business to add to the existing strategy and planning contract.
Along with Fenton, Natalie Bell, her counterpart at OMD Group’s other UK shop, Manning Gottlieb OMD, has also been promoted. The changes come after the pair’s respective predecessors both moved up to cross-agency roles in 2019.
Former OMD UK boss Dan Clays became UK chief executive of Omnicom Media Group, giving him oversight of both OMD agencies as well as PHD and Hearts & Science. At the same time, his counterpart at MG OMD, Tim Pearson, took on the role of CEO of OMD Group UK.
Since then, Fenton and Bell have been the leaders of their respective agencies, with both reporting to Pearson.
Clays said: “Laura is a class act who has shown extraordinary leadership as managing director this year and is held in the highest regard by her clients and everyone at OMD UK.
“To start out on the OMD entrance scheme and progress through to CEO is inspiring for everyone. Laura becoming CEO is hugely deserved but also signals the ambition, energy and momentum the agency has going in to 2021.”
Fenton added: “We have an amazing set of clients and world-class people who are passionate about doing highly creative and progressive work. Agencies must continually evolve and I’m excited to lead OMD through the next chapter.”