The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect ad agencies, causing reductions of staff, salary cuts and furloughs. DDB, Chicago is the latest agency forced to slightly restructure. The agency has reportedly laid off 30 people including global business director for Unilever, Mark Mulhern, and chief people officer, North America Britt Hayes.
Last week, our sister outlet Reel 360 reported that DDB was among other agencies who were forced to reduce numbers.
After previously serving as CEO for McDonald’s bespoke Omnicom agency We Are Unlimited, Mulhern became global business director for Unilever in November, After the QSR named Wieden + Kennedy the lead agency, WAU was folded into DDB Chicago.
According to AgencySpy, Hayes joined DDB North America as its first chief people officer in 2017, following a little over a year as executive director, creative management. She previously spent around five years with JWT as director of creative management and head of creative talent.
“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our clients, our people and our partners across industries. We took several actions, including but not limited to salary and hour adjustments, furloughs, infrastructure changes, and lastly, after every cost-cutting measure, we have also had to lay some people off,” DDB U.S. president and COO Paul Gunning said in a statement last week. “These are times unlike any we’ve ever seen, and I am deeply committed to making every effort to get us through this and come out stronger.”
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DDB’s actions follow Omnicom CEO John Wren outlining a series of measures that would be taken across Omnicom agencies last Tuesday, including layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions.
Reel Chicago wishes DDB and all Chicago agencies the best during these trying times.