Jon has been a leader at VML — now VMLY&R — for 25 years. He has led VMLY&R as Global CEO since the agency was established in September 2018. The agency is a global marketing force with more than 12,000 employees in 44 countries; principal office locations include Kansas City, London, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Jon is a member of the WPP Executive Committee.
Prior to leading VMLY&R, Jon served as VML Global CEO from 2011 to 2018. 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.
Since leading the merger of VML and Y&R to form VMLY&R, Jon has architected the global expansion of the agency to establish the industry’s most comprehensive offering. In 2020, VMLY&R and Geometry combined commerce capabilities to form VMLY&R Commerce, providing world-class expertise and delivery for clients at a time of unprecedented global growth in ecommerce. Sudler, a world-class healthcare practice, also joined VMLY&R in 2020, and Sudler’s respected international healthcare group became VMLY&Rx. Additional VMLY&R agencies include BAV Group, Berlin Cameron, KingEclient, Mutato, Scholz & Friends, TAXI and The Glitch.
VMLY&R is proud to serve some of the world's most recognized and respected brands, including Campbell’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Ford, Intel, Microsoft, Pfizer, Sherwin-Williams, United Rentals, the U.S. Navy, and Wendy’s.
At the core of VMLY&R is the connection of Brand Experience and Customer Experience, and the agency has been recognized on the world’s biggest stages for these capabilities. In 2020, VMLY&R was honored by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in the world and by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as a top four Network of the Decade. In 2019, Cannes named VMLY&R Agency of the Year in both the Reach and Good tracks. The company also earned Cannes Entertainment Agency of the Year honors in 2017 and 2018, and has repeatedly been recognized by Forrester and Gartner for leadership and expertise in global marketing and digital experiences.
Jon was a finalist for Campaign US 2019 Advertising Agency Head of the Year and, in 2017, was named by the 4A’s as one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great. 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 for the VMLY&R Foundation, the agency's employee-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit community service organization, Jon also serves on the Ad Council Board of Directors. He is a member of the national advisory board of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and a board member of the Head for the Cure Foundation.
Jon graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993 with a Bachelor of Journalism. In 2018, Jon delivered the commencement address at the Missouri School of Journalism’s graduation ceremony. He relishes spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their three daughters. The family especially enjoys hiking together.