Thomas W. Watson

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Thomas Watson is a co-founder and former Vice Chairman of the Omnicom Group, Inc. and consults for Omnicom on management education and leadership development as Dean Emeritus of Omnicom University, Residency and Diversity programs.

Omnicom Group Inc. is an American global media, marketing and corporate communications holding company, headquartered in New York City.



Watson is a graduate of Delaware Valley College (now Delaware Valley University) and Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business (MBA). He also received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Delaware Valley College. [1]

Delaware Valley University

Delaware Valley University (DelVal) is a private university in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1896, it enrolls approximately 1,800 students on its suburban, 570-acre campus. DelVal offers more than 25 undergraduate majors, six master's programs, a doctoral program, and a variety of adult education courses.

Hofstra University university in Nassau County, New York

Hofstra University is a private, non-profit, nonsectarian university in Hempstead, New York. Long Island's largest private university, Hofstra originated in 1935 as an extension of New York University (NYU) under the name Nassau College – Hofstra Memorial of New York University at Hempstead, Long Island. It became independent Hofstra College in 1939 and gained university status in 1963. Comprising ten schools, including the Northwell School of Medicine and Deane School of Law, Hofstra is noted for a series of prominent Presidential conferences and hosting several United States presidential debates.


Watson began his business career in 1958 in sales with Abbott Laboratories. From 1960-1963, he worked for Merck & Co. in marketing and started his advertising career with Interpublic's Erwin Wasey Agency in account management in 1963-1965. This was followed by a year with the Robert A. Becker advertising agency, before joining BBDO in 1966.

Abbott Laboratories is an American health care company with headquarters in Lake Bluff, Illinois, United States. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888 to formulate known drugs; it eventually grew to also sell research-based drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and nutritional products. It split off the research-based pharmaceuticals into AbbVie in 2013. In 2017, revenues were $27.39 billion.

Merck & Co., Inc., d.b.a. Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) outside the United States and Canada, is an American pharmaceutical company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

BBDO is a worldwide advertising agency network, with its headquarters in New York City. The agency began in 1891 with George Batten's Batten Company, and later in 1928, through a merger of BDO and Batten Co. the agency became Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. BBDO Worldwide has been named the "Most Awarded Agency Network in the World" by The Gunn Report for six consecutive years beginning 2005. It has won "Network of the Year" at the Cannes Lions five times. With more than 15,000 employees in 289 offices in 80 countries, it is the largest of three global networks of agencies in Omnicom's portfolio. BBDO was named Global Agency of the Year by Adweek in 2011. It has also been named Agency of the Year in 2005 by Adweek, Advertising Age, and Campaign. In 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed January 10 as BBDO day in recognition of the strength of its advertising, as well as its contributions to New York City.

In 1986, he assisted in development of BBDO's network agency strategy, created the Network Training Program to implement the strategy and was a member of the "4101" team that created Omnicom in 1986. He has managed several OMC pro bono initiatives with Omnicom companies for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, In Roads and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. [2]

Jackie Robinson Foundation non-profit organisation in the USA

The Jackie Robinson Foundation is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which gives scholarships to minority youths for higher education, as well as preserving the legacy of Baseball Hall of Fame member, Jackie Robinson. The foundation was founded by Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie, in 1973, a couple of months after his death. The foundation provides four-year college scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential. Its hands-on, four-year program includes peer and professional mentoring, internship placement, extensive leadership training, international travel and community service options, the conveyance of practical life skills, and a myriad networking opportunities. The Foundation's strategic combination of financial assistance and support services results consistently in a nearly 100% college graduation rate. Since its founding, over 1,450 scholars have received scholarships. Support for the foundation comes from various sponsors. Among its supporters are Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and Nike, Inc.

In 1994 he developed the Senior Management Program (SMP) for Diversified Agency Services, the largest division of Omnicom. In 2000 he expanded the SMP to include senior managers of all divisions of the company, creating "Omnicom University".

In 1999, he initiated a company global study on Employee Relationship Management and its impact on profitability, and subsequently published in David Maister's 2001 book Practice What You Preach. He wrote "People Make Profits" for Advertising Age (4/28/03) on this work. He also contributed work on "the Organization Brain" concept and organization learning at Omnicom in the 2003 book The Value Profit Chain.

David Maister American academic

David H. Maister is a former Harvard Business School professor, American writer and expert on business management practices and the management of professional service firms. He is best known for writing Managing the Professional Service Firm and co-writing The Trusted Advisor with Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford. Born and raised in London, England, Maister became a citizen of the United States in 2006.

<i>Advertising Age</i> magazine

Advertising Age, or Ad Age, is a global media brand publishing analysis, news and data on marketing and media. The magazine was started as a broadsheet newspaper in Chicago in 1930. Today, its content appears in multiple formats, including, daily e-mail newsletters, social channels, events and a bimonthly print magazine.

Watson retired from Omnicom January 2005 and continued to run the Omnicom University as Dean in 2005. [3]

In 2006, he created the Watson Executive in Residence and Scholars Program at Delaware Valley College. He serves as Chairman of the President's Advisory Council.

He is co-manager of Two Bare Arms Productions, LLC and is the Executive Producer on “Mixed Signals”: a short film shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Judee Wales CD “Love Life” and her music videos “My Other Half” and “Goldfinger”. [4]

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  1. "Dr. Thomas W. Watson '57". Delaware Valley University. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  2. "Dr. Thomas W. Watson '57". Delaware Valley University. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  3. Sampey, Kathleen (November 23, 2004). "Omnicom's Watson Is Set to Retire". Adweek. Adweek Inc. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. "Tom Watson – Executive Producer". Two Bare Arms Productions. Retrieved May 10, 2015.