She previously led the New York office as Managing Director from 2011 to 2012, and joined Porter Novelli from FleishmanHillard

Omnicom has moved to broaden of its stable through its public relations group. The arm addresses changing client needs and the growing demand for seamlessly integrated teams, best-in-class talent across the globe, and offerings which leverage the newest technology.

Omnicom Public Relations Group is focused on attracting talent; customising teams for clients; driving best-in-class client service through technology; and fostering collaboration across agencies, disciplines, and geographies. The group will be led by CEO, Karen van Bergen, who is responsible for the growth of the overall portfolio.

She joins from Porter Novelli, where she served as Senior Partner and Global CEO since December 2012. Throughout her tenure, she has led a significant turnaround rooted in a renewed focus on talent. Under her leadership, the agency launched a new performance management system.

The platform is focused on career pathing for employees, a succession planning initiative, performance-based bonus suite, and Greater Than U—a formal professional development and training programme. The agency achieved an all-time high employee engagement score in 2015.

Prior to her CEO position, van Bergen led the New York office as managing director from 2011 to 2012. She joined Porter Novelli from FleishmanHillard, where she was Senior Partner and SVP, and the global lead for OneVoice—an integrated Omnicom offering that serves Royal Philips Electronics.

Before FH, she completed two stints with McDonald’s totalling more than 13 years. She was Chief of Staff, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for McDonald’s Europe, and Director of Marketing, Communications and Government Relations at McDonald’s Central Europe and Central Asia division.

Omnicom Public Relations Group encompasses 10 primary brands, including three top global agencies namely FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, creating an organisation of more than 6,000 employees. Each will continue to operate as independent brands and businesses within the business.

“Omnicom been a model of successful cross-agency collaboration and Karen has been a champion for this strategic focus area throughout her nine years here. Omnicom Public Relations will build on the success we’ve seen here. She is the right leader to take this forward,” said Dale Adams, Chairman and CEO at the DAS Group of Companies.

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