Powerful Women: Shelly Lazarus
The majority of us don’t pay attention to how much we’re actually influenced by advertising. It surrounds us in every aspect of our lives: the moment you step out your front door, open an internet browser, read your mail, you are being influenced by advertising.
So who’s behind such influence and power? Advertising agencies of course. One in particular, Ogilvy & Mather happens to be one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. The agency, which was founded in 1948, operated about 450 offices in 120 countries with about 18,000 employees worldwide. Some notable clients of the agency include IBM, American Express, Mattel and Ford.
Shelly Lazarus works as one of Ogilvy & Mather’s chairman’s and was formally the CEO of the company. Rochelle or Shelly was born in Oceanside, New York in 1947. She attended an all women’s school in Northampton Massachusetts called Smith College and was inspired during her senior year by a conference put on by the Advertising Women of New York. It was after this conference that she decided to pursue a career in advertising.
Post graduation from Smith, Shelly attended Columbia University, as one of four women in her class to earn an MBA in 1970. In 1971 Shelly joined Ogilvy & Mather and served as an account executive until 1974 before taking a three-year hiatus. In 1976, she returned to the company and resumed as an account supervisor for companies such as Avon and Campbell Soup.
Shelly only continued to move up in the ranks serving as direct general manager, direct U.S. president, New York president, president of North American operations, president and chief operating officer, chief executive officer, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and finally chairman and CEO of the company.
Shelly followed Charlotte Beers as CEO making Ogilvy & Mather the first firm in the industry to have back-to-back female CEOs. Shelly remained CEO until 2008, but still maintains a chairman position.
Ally | Elite.