Moving from leadership in the beverage industry to America’s largest advertising firm, Wendy Clark will be leaving the position of President for Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing at Coca-Cola for the position of CEO at DDB North America. Clark has an impressive resume; she was behind the success of Coca-Cola’s Facebook presence – the largest for any brand in social media—and advised Hillary Clinton on her marketing and social media presence during a presidential campaign.
The 44 year-old executive, who has spent the last 7 years at Coca-Cola, was personally targeted by Chuck Brymer, DDB Worldwide’s CEO. Brymer was CEO at Interbrand in 2004, where he previously worked with Clark, who was then the SVP at AT&T. He moved into position at DDB Worldwide just two years later and has since grown interested in working with Clark for the long term. DDB North America is one of the world’s largest advertising agencies and part of the Omnicom Group, which also umbrellas BBDO, the ad agency responsible for the success of Pepsi in most recent years. This is somewhat of the reason that they lost touch. There was a conflict of interest with DBB’s connection to Pepsi, a direct competitor to the Coca-Cola brand.
As a rising superstar within the Coca-Cola brand, Wendy Clark has gained insight to unique issues that brands face when marketing to their public. Brymer wants to leverage that interest for his advertising agency. One thing that inspired Brymer’s decision was how “natural” Clark was in using her talents to market brands to audiences. He describes her as an “innovator,” who’s “cool under pressure” and “great with people,” both of which are very important in marketing and leadership roles. He is extremely impressed with her abilities in digital media – a stronghold of industry that is evolving at a rapid beat. Clark often describes content as a brand’s “new currency” and that those involved in the story are storytellers.
It is through this that Wendy will be able to tell her own story. She has been acknowledged by many, as one of the most powerful women in industry, and yet many have also noted her as being “down to earth.” Perhaps, this is why she has done so well in her position. She can connect directly with her audience because she can relate to them. If this is the case, she most definitely deserves the role that she has been given… a role she wouldn’t have taken if it didn’t come with a flexible schedule.
Throughout the years, she has worked extra hard to climb in the ranks of her career. At times, her hard work has taken away her from “real life,” which includes a husband and three children. She wanted more time with her family, as she takes on such an important and powerful role. With her talents and abilities, the way she connects with her audiences and her eagerness to soar in any opportunity that comes and greets her, DDB North America has a new and powerful CEO.