Jon became global CEO of VMLY&R on Sept. 26, 2018. The new agency — combining leading brands VML and Y&R — created a global marketing force with 7,000 employees and principal offices in Kansas City, London, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, and Sydney. On Oct. 24, 2018, the Sudler U.S. network — one of the industry’s most respected healthcare practices — became part of VMLY&R.
Prior to leading VMLY&R, Jon served as VML global CEO since 2011. He joined the agency in 1996, and during his tenure VML grew from 30 employees in Kansas City, Missouri, to more than 3,000 employees across six continents.
Jon helped lead the agency to Advertising Age A-List honors — which recognizes the industry’s top 10 most influential and impactful agencies — from 2016 to 2018. The company was named Entertainment Agency of the Year in 2017 and 2018 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and has been recognized by Forrester and Gartner for expertise in digital marketing.
Jon embodies VMLY&R’s commitment to be our clients’ most important partner — creating connected brands with creativity, technology and data at the core. He works tirelessly to bring brands closer to consumers, customers closer to communities and communities closer to the world.
VMLY&R is proud to serve some of the world's most recognized and respected brands, including Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Ford, Microsoft, the U.S. Navy, Office Depot, Pfizer, the U.S. Census, United Rentals, and Wendy’s.
In 2017, Jon helped guide the agency through the certification process with the 3% Movement — an organization that champions female creative leadership, diversity, and inclusion — and VML became one of the industry’s first 3% Certified agencies.
Jon was named one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great by the 4A’s in 2017. He was also recognized as the Advertising Professional of the Year by the American Advertising Federation-Kansas City (AAF-KC) in 2014, and was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award program in 2012.
A leading advocate of the VMLY&R Foundation, the agency's employee-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit community service organization, and serves on the advisory board. He sits on the Ad Council Board of Directors; is a member of the national advisory board of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri; and is a board member of the Head for the Cure Foundation, a national organization dedicated to discovering cures for brain cancer.
Jon graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993 with a Bachelor of Journalism. In May 2018, Jon delivered the commencement address at the Missouri School of Journalism graduation ceremony. He relishes spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their three daughters. The family especially enjoys hiking together.