Arun Sudhaman 30 Mar 2021 // 2:59PM GMT
LONDON — Michael Frohlich is leaving Ogilvy to become EMEA CEO at Weber Shandwick, PRovoke can reveal, after a leadership search that followed Tim Sutton's exit from the Interpublic Group PR firm 12 months ago.
Frohlich departs after almost a decade at Ogilvy, during which he expanded his remit beyond PR to encompass group oversight of the UK operation. After joining Ogilvy from Chime in 2012, Frohlich led the firm's UK and EMEA PR operations, before being named Ogilvy UK CEO in 2018.
At Weber Shandwick, he will report to chief growth officer Susan Howe, who oversees all of the firm's regions. In addition, Frohlich will head the firm's new 'global transformation program', reporting directly to global CEO Gail Heimann.
"Michael makes change happen," Heimann said. "He is a brave thinker, consummate strategist and the kind of leader who pushes for the best and brings the best out in everyone around him. He is a stellar addition to our team."
Frohlich's track record involves a considerable focus on transformation, which he undertook successfully to turn around Ogilvy EMEA's PR operations before restructuring the 1,200 person UK group in line with the agency's 'one Ogilvy' plan. Since the arrival of Ogilvy CEO Andy Main last year, that plan has since shifted to encompass five business groups, of which PR is one.
“Weber Shandwick has made bold moves – across digital, innovation, analytics and organizational transformation – to transform the agency into the kind of deeply valued business partner that can solve problems plaguing not just chief communications officers, but CEOs and CMOs, as well," said Frohlich. "I can’t wait to be a part of this incredible agency and work with the leadership team to help further bolster its evolution as we lean into the future together."
In addition to Sutton, senior departures from Weber Shandwick EMEA in recent months have included regional COO Jonas Palmqvist and Hugh Baillie, who led the firm's X practice transformation division.
Frohlich's regional oversight of Weber Shandwick's EMEA operation — estimated at almost $100m prior to last year's pandemic decline — also includes a focus on integration of the specialist acquisitions it has made in recent years: That Lot, Flipside and Prime Weber Shandwick.
Frohlich leaves as Ogilvy PR eyes a return to sustained growth under the leadership of new global CEO Julianna Richter, who joined the firm from Edelman last year. Agency veterans Joanna Oosthuizen and Emily Poon lead EMEA and Asia-Pacific, respectively.
Prior to Ogilvy, Frohlich held senior roles at Bell Pottinger, Resonate Communications, VCCP and Shine Communications.