What is Charlotte Beers trying to accomplish as CEO of O&M Worldwide?
Charlotte Beers took over as the CEO of O&M in 1991. When she took over as the CEO, the company had lost some of its major accounts including American Express (its most successful account) and the company’s revenues had declined sharply. The press was calling it “Beleaguered” and predicting that there was no hope for survival. O&M had grown rapidly in the 1980’s and now had 7000 employees across 270 offices worldwide. Beers wants to build on the legacy left behind by David Ogilvy since she feels that the company has all the right ingredients but is just not using its core strengths (the world wide offices and the creative people). Beers wants to retain clients and for this she met lots of clients and reassured them that O&M was on its way up and they should not lose trust in O&M. She also wanted to gain insight into what the clients wanted from O&M and how she could bridge the gap. She started with the customer and their needs to shape the company’s future actions. Beers also wants to change the negative perception about O&M on Wall Street and regain the confidence of external stakeholders. For this she met the analysts and showed them their successful campaigns, to reinforce that O&M would be successful again as they had the right people. Charlotte knows that the company needs to change its organization and financial structure and to have a new vision to be successful again.
What is your assessment of the vision?
The vision that Charlotte and her team put forward was “To be the agency most valued by those who most value brands”. The team tried to anchor the vision to the teachings of David Ogilvy (O&M’s founder), to show that they were not moving away from the old but only building on it. The vision statement also clarified the differences and similarities between the new and old vision. The vision statement was written with the aim of gaining acceptance, the team tried...
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