Ogilvy Sydney chief strategy officer Ryan O’Connell to depart after 11 years at the agency

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Ogilvy Sydney chief strategy officer Ryan O’Connell to depart after 11 years at the agency

Ogilvy Network ANZ can confirm that Ogilvy Sydney’s chief strategy officer Ryan O’Connell has resigned and is leaving the business this month.


O’Connell has been with the agency for more than 11 years, during which time he has worked across almost all of the agency’s clients.

One of the most awarded and highly regarded strategists in the region, O’Connell has spearheaded Ogilvy’s impressive effectiveness record in recent years, including multiple Agency of the Year awards at the APAC Effies, and a Global Grand Effie in 2021.  Recently, Ogilvy and KFC Australia were awarded Effective Advertiser of the Year at the 2023 Australian Effies. O’Connell was also named Campaign Asia’s Strategist of the Year for the past three years.

Says Michelle Holland, managing director, Ogilvy Sydney: “Ryan has been an incredibly valuable member of our team and a great example of Ogilvy’s approach to fostering great talent. His understanding of how best to solve business problems and apply great strategy to generate effective, creative and long-term results has been an inspiration to the Sydney strategy team and beyond. He leaves behind a strong legacy, and a strategy team well versed in his approach. He’ll be missed – but always a friend of the agency and part of the Ogilvy family.”

Says O’Connell: “I love this place, and genuinely think it’s the best agency in the region. It’s a bittersweet moment for me, but I’m excited for my next adventure. Also, to be completely honest, I just couldn’t stand working with Michelle anymore. She’s too nice. And taller than me.”

It’s understood an announcement will be made soon on O’Connell’s next move, and that it’s to head up a new independent agency.

As a result of O’Connell’s departure, Ogilvy is currently evaluating its strategic resources and will make an announcement about the senior structure of the strategy team in due course.