Omnicom Group is to cull seven members of its seventeen-strong board of directors in a bid to give greater influence to people from outside the agency giant.

The septet stepping down, all drawn from within Omnicom ranks, are Michael Greenlees (executive vp, Omnicom); Jean-Marie Dru (president/ceo, TBWA); Allen Rosenshine (chairman/ceo, BBDO); Thomas Harrison (chairman/ceo, Diversified Agency Services); Keith Reinhard (chairman, DDB); Bernard Brochand (vice chairman, DDB); and Jim Cannon (vice chairman/chief financial officer, BBDO).

Of these, Reinhard and Rosenshine are to resign from the board, since their contracts last until 2004; the other five will not stand for re-election when their terms run out next month.

The move will leave only two directors from within the agency giant: Omnicom president/ceo John Wren and chairman Bruce Crawford. In addition, the current tally of eight external directors will be boosted by one, with the appointment of Robert Charles Clark, dean of Harvard University School of Law.

The overhaul, which will leave a board of eleven directors, takes effect on May 21, the date of Omnicom’s annual shareholder meeting. It follows similar steps earlier this year by rival Interpublic Group [WAMN: 12-Feb-02].

Data sourced from: New York Times;; additional content by WARC staff