Thomas W. Watson
Vice Chairman Emeritus and Dean of Omnicom University, Omnicom Group
Tom Watson is the former Vice Chairman of the Omnicom Group Inc. and continues to be responsible for Omnicom's management education and leadership development as Dean of Omnicom University. He also contributes to the management of the MBA Residency Program in his role as a Consultant to Omnicom Group.
In 1999, he initiated a company global study on Employee Relationship Management and its impact on profitability, and subsequently published in David Maister's 2001 book Practice What You Preach. He wrote "People Make Profits" for AdvertisingAge (4/28/03) on this work. He has also contributed work on "The Organization Brain" concept and organizational learning at Omnicom in Heskett, Sasser and Schlesinger's 2003 book The Value Profit Chain. In 2003, he introduced Six Sigma to Omnicom companies; a profit improvement program to quickly and cost-effectively make companies more efficient in their processes and more successful in client satisfaction and retention.
In 1994 he developed the Senior Management Program in conjunction with Len Schlesinger of the Harvard Business School for management education and leadership development for Diversified Agency Services, the largest division of Omnicom. In 2000 he expanded the SMP to include senior managers of all divisions of the company creating "Omnicom University."
Mr. Watson began his business career in 1958 in sales with Abbott Laboratories. From 1960-1963, he worked for Merck & Co. in marketing and started his advertising career with Interpublic's Erwin Wasey agency in account management in 1963-1965. This was followed by a year with the Robert A. Becker healthcare ad agency, before joining BBDO in 1966.
In 1986, he helped develop BBDO's network agency strategy, created the Network Training Program to implement the strategy and was a member of the "4101" team that created Omnicom. At the holding company level, he has contributed to the development of various integrated marketing communications business models for clients.
He has managed several OMC pro bono initiatives with Omnicom companies for; Jackie Robinson Foundation, In Roads and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
In 2004, he created an Executive-In-Residence program at Delaware Valley College. He is also a clown in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has produced a short film that was screened at The Palm Springs Film Festival in 2002 and is currently co-producing his first play in New York: 2 Bare Arms.
Mr. Watson is a graduate of Delaware Valley College (B.S.) and Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business (MBA) and received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Delaware Valley College.
He lives in Soho with his wife, actor Judee Wales Watson.