Consultant, Vice Chairman Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, Omnicom University, Omnicom Group, Inc.


Tom Watson is a co-founder and former Vice Chairman of the Omnicom Group, Inc. and consults for Omnicom on management education and leadership development as Dean Emeritus of Omnicom University, Residency and Diversity programs.

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 also contributed work on "the Organization Brain" concept and organization learning at Omnicom in Heskett, Sasser and Schlesinger's 2003 book The Value Profit Chain. In 2003, he introduced Omnicom Companies to Six Sigma, which is 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 (SMP) 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", and will celebrate the 20th year in 2014.

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 advertising 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 in 1986.

He has managed several OMC pro bono initiatives with Omnicom companies for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, In Roads and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

In 2006, he created the Watson Executive in Residence and Scholars Program at DelVal. He serves as Chairman of the President's Advisory Council. He has been a circus clown in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, produced a short film that was screened at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2002 and was recently Executive Producer on the independent feature film Pavilion, a CD titled Love Life and the music video "GoldFinger", starring Judee Wales.

Mr. Watson is a graduate of DelVal (BS) and Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business (MBA). He also received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from DelVal.

He lives in Soho, New York City with his wife, actor Judee Wales.