DDB Worldwide, part of Omnicom Group, announced today the promotion of industry veterans Azher Ahmed and Valerie (Val) Bengoa to top leadership roles in the US. Ahmed has been elevated to EVP, director of digital and Bengoa has been promoted to EVP, EVP, director of finance. Both will report to Paul Gunning, president and chief operating officer of DDB U.S. In these new roles, Ahmed and Bengoa will lead their respective discipline and be responsible for the team in DDB’s three US offices, Tribal New York and Rodgers Townsend. Ahmed and Bengoa’s appointments come as DDB continues to apply the FLEX model across the agency network and clients.
Gunning said: “Azher and Val are two of the best in the business. They both possess the smarts, attitude and leadership we need as we continue growing and evolving as an agency network. Azher and Val’s expertise are essential to shaping DDB’s presence in the U.S. and ensuring the agency’s future success is built upon best-in-class capabilities and standout creativity. ”
A true professional, Ahmed has always been dedicated to advancing the agency and growing his clients’ business. With more than 20 years of experience spearheading digital marketing, Ahmed has designed and implemented creative ideas and tech-driven campaigns for brands, including Capital One’s ‘Road to the Final Four’ and McDonald’s ‘Lovin’ the Super Bowl’, among others. In his new role, Ahmed will focus on capability connectivity across DDB US’s offices and clients such as State Farm, Miller Lite and Symantec. He is also charged with advancing the agency network’s capabilities to ensure DDB’s talent can create for any digitally-rooted idea and execute it in today’s connected world.
“As our clients look for ways to drive distinction and growth in a crowded landscape, I’m excited to expand and advance DDB’s digital specialty within our FLEX model. We can scale capabilities up and down to provide best-in-class solutions at the speed of modern business,” said Ahmed.
A strategically oriented finance and operations professional, Bengoa has been part of the DDB team since 1998 and has worked in the Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco offices at different points in her career. Known for her people skills and ability to solve any problem, Bengoa has become a trusted resource within the agency. In her new role as EVP, director of finance, Bengoa will oversee several financial and operational aspects of the agency in the U.S. Her primary remit will be building and implementing a financial structure that enables DDB/US to operate quickly and efficiently. Bengoa’s intimate knowledge of the agency’s operations coupled with her unmatched financial prowess makes her uniquely qualified for this important role.
“This is an exciting time for us - as we continue applying DDB FLEX and become an even more connected agency network in the US, we are able to maximise our collective strength and provide our talent and clients with best-in-class opportunities," said Bengoa.
In 2018, DDB began implementing the next phase of DDB FLEX, which allows for seamless flow of best-placed talent, thinking, capabilities and execution, by uniting DDB’s US offices. This unified creative force in the US has led to several new business wins, including Blue Moon, Symantec and AT&T, as well as countless industry awards including 20 London International Awards, 16 Cannes Lions, 20 Clio Awards, 12 D&AD awards, among others. The model has also helped attract top talent such as DDB New York’s Co-CCOs Lisa Topol and Derek Barnes, CSO of DDB Chicago Tricia Russo, DDB New York’s head of strategy Susie Lyons, and DDB San Francisco’s executive creative director Ben Wolan.