Omnicom’s OMD Expands Its Analytics Practice by Hiring Former Mindshare Data Lead

Rolf Olsen spent 3 years at the WPP network

He's the first to hold the chief analytics officer title.
OMD

In an effort to better serve clients’ growing demands for data, Omnicom Media Group has poached a former WPP executive to fill the newly created role of chief analytics officer at OMD.

Rolf Olsen joins the agency after spending three years at Mindshare, WPP’s media buying network, where he held the title of chief data officer. Moving forward, he will lead a team of more than 120 data scientists across accounts and departments in order to enhance OMD’s larger media offering.

Many of our clients want to connect their power cord into the data,” said OMD USA CEO John Osborn. “But what we’ve found is that, while there’s no shortage of talk around data, the key question is why. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make better decisions faster.”

Rolf Olson, chief analytics officer, OMD USA

Regarding the new hire, he said, “Rolf’s experience in impacting business growth through innovations in data management, operations and solutions makes him the ideal choice to drive OMD’s game-changing data offer.”

Conversations in the media world tend to vacillate between data and what Osborn calls “creative intuition,” and the OMD chief believes that Rolf brings “a great gumbo of both” to the organization. While at Mindshare, he helped lead the development of GroupM’s Marketing Science discipline and The Loop, an “adaptive marketing engine” or “data-infused war room” introduced in 2014 to track media performance across GroupM’s global client roster.

Rolf previously spent a decade at the Dentsu Aegis network, holding top roles at its Carat and iProspect networks and launching several new services.

“OMD is committed to advancing the data function from a measure of output to a driver of outcomes. It’s my job to build the organizational infrastructure—talent and tools, products and process—that will accelerate and sustain that forward path,” Rolf said.

Osborn added, “Clients are looking to us for [data] solutions, but they want us to do it with them. It’s much more of a ‘we’ game than ever before.”

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