10 Things You Didn’t Know about Omnicom Group CEO John Wren

John Wren is the head of Omnicom Group, which is one of the biggest advertising companies that can be found out there. Currently, he is both the CEO and the Chairman, though it should be noted that he picked up the latter position in April of 2018. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about John Wren:

1. Went to Adelphi University

Education-wise, Wren went to Adelphi University, which has a reputation for being the oldest institution of higher learning that can be found in suburban Long Island. There, Wren completed not just his bachelor’s degree but also his MBA.

2. First Job Was Co-Founding a Business

At the age of 15, Wren had his first job as the co-founder of a business that manufactured tie-dyed T-shirts. He has stated that the experience taught him much about business, which makes sense because it involved the participants coming up with their products, making their products, and then selling their products.

3. Joined Arthur Anderson

Upon graduating, Wren joined up with Arthur Anderson & Co. For those who are unfamiliar with that name, Arthur Andersen was once one of the most important accounting firms that could be found in the United States. However, it was involved in the Enron scandal, which is why it no longer exists in a meaningful sense in the modern day.

4. Joined Needham Harper Worldwide

Wren became involved in advertising when he joined up with Needham Harper Worldwide. With that said, he wasn’t exactly a low-level employee at the time, seeing as how he joined up as an executive vice-president.

5. Helped to Create Omnicom Group

As such, Wren was one of the people who participated in the formation of Omnicom Group, which came into existence through the merger of three advertising companies. Naturally, Needham Harper Worldwide was one of the three, while the other two were BBDO Worldwide and Doyle Dane Bernbach.

6. Doesn’t Like Acronyms

When he was asked about what kind of buzzword he would ban if he had the power to do so, Wren stated that he would ban all acronyms. He isn’t alone in finding acronyms to be annoying, which is a position that can be based on rather rational reasoning. In short, there is no guarantee that different people will understand the same set of acronyms, meaning that excessive use can make communication much more confusing than it should be.

7. Likes Working with a Particular Kind of People

Wren has described the kind of people that he likes working with the most. In short, said individuals should be both curious and thoughtful. Moreover, they should be people with a real passion for securing the right results, though that passion should be paired with a sense of humor as well.

8. Looks Forward to Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions refers to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It is a very important gathering place for people who work in advertising as well as related fields, so much so that it could be the single most important event of its kind that can be found in the entire world. Wren has said that while he dreads going to Cannes Lions in each year, he always winds up becoming inspired by the work that younger creative figures are involved with.

9. Loves the Change that Comes with His Job

There are some people who are uncomfortable when it comes to change in their chosen fields. However, Wren isn’t one of them. If anything, he is actually excited by the fact that advertising companies are changing on a near-constant basis in response to the risk and opportunities presented by new technological capabilities. On top of this, Wren is even more interested to see the further changes that are bound to come.

10. Believes in Listening Before Speaking

Wren has a couple of important beliefs for success. One would be surrounding oneself with smart, capable people with shared goals, which makes a lot of sense for someone who runs one of the biggest advertising companies in the entire world. The other would be listening before speaking, which is always good advice because it ensures that the speaker has a lot more context as well as a lot more information going in.


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