Omnicom Group’s Lead Independent Director Leonard Coleman is stepping down from the post at the end of the year. Coleman, 74, will have held the post for eight years when he steps down. The former president of MLB’s National League indicated he plans to remain a director.
Omnicom disclosed the news in its 2023 proxy statement and noted that a process is underway to identify Coleman’s successor. Nine of the ten Omnicom board directors are independent—the exception being company Chairman and CEO John Wren.
The company has made an extra effort in recent years to make the board more independent and diverse. Six current members are female, four are African American and one is Latina.
Omnicom’s annual meeting this year will be held on May 2 at Jekyll Island, GA.
There’s one shareholder proposal mentioned in the proxy statement to separate the chairman and CEO roles at the company. Both titles are currently held by Wren. The proposal also states that whenever possible it would be best if the chairman were also an independent director.
“The roles of Chairman and CEO are fundamentally different and should be held by 2 directors, a CEO and a Chairman who is completely independent of the CEO and our company,” the proposal states.
Omnicom encourages shareholders to vote against the proposal. “Omnicom has engaged extensively with shareholders on our Board leadership structure, and we continue to receive strong support for our flexible approach, our current leadership structure, and the strength of our Lead Independent Director role,” the company asserted.
Wren, 70, was the highest paid executive at the company last year with total compensation of $20.7 million, a little above the $20 million he pulled in 2021. Chief Operating Officer Daryl Simm was next, earning $10.7 million versus $8.7 million in 2021. And CFO Phil Angelastro was third, with $9.9 million, just a smidge higher than the $9.7 million, he earned in 2021.