As agencies continue to make promises and plans to tackle systemic racism internally, Ogilvy has brought in a new DCI manager to help him move forward.
The WPP-owned agency hired James Kinney as Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He takes over responsibilities previously held by Donna Pedro, who was Ogilvy’s diversity director since 2007. According to the agency, she joined WPP, but she did not share further details.
Kinney will also become director of human resources for North America. He does not replace anyone directly in this role.
His appointment is the latest in a series of leadership changes at Ogilvy. In July, Andy Main left Deloitte Digital to join the agency as global CEO. Later in the year, Ogilvy hired Devika Bulchandani to serve as CEO for North America and Global President of Advertising. Ogilvy also recently promoted Jag Dhanji to the global human resources manager.
Kinney will work alongside Bulchandani and Dhanji at Ogilvy. he joined by Mother, where he was director of talent in the United States for less than a year. Prior to joining Mother, he was the vice president of personnel at Giant Spoon.
As the global leader of DCI, the agency said Kinney will “partner with leaders of the company’s global network to develop and evolve practices, policies and programs to ensure that Ogilvy has a strong culture of belonging, a culture that fosters an open environment for everyone to thrive. and be their authentic self. As Director of Human Resources for North America, he will be responsible for overseeing “all aspects of talent management, recruiting, learning and development and well-being” at Ogilvy.
“James brings with him a passion for people that is contagious and a unique approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and culture,” Main said in a statement. “Our success and sustainability as a business will be a direct result of our people as well as our ability to build a culture where the many dimensions of difference are represented and valued at all levels of the business. I am delighted that James brings his rich expertise to our management team.
Kinney joins Ogilvy at a time when agencies are invest in DCI and talent-driven roles, which are sometimes identical. Companies including You and Mr. Jones and Havas Creative North America recently hired human resources directors for the first time, while IPG Mediabrands hired its first global cultural director last year.
The change comes as the industry takes action to prioritize DCI and hire talent from diverse backgrounds. Following the murder of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis, most of the major advertising holding companies, including WPP, shared workforce diversity numbers in an effort to be more transparent about the number of blacks they employ. Last June, WPP said so plans to spend $ 30 million over the next three years on “inclusion programs” and anti-racist charities.
In June, Ogilvy’s US executives emailed employees detailing its five-part plan to become an “anti-racist agency.” In the memo, he said that Ogilvy would join WPP by committing to the 12 actions outlined in a open letter sent to industry by 600 black advertising professionals last year.