Arun Sudhaman 25 Apr 2017 // 4:11PM GMT
Omnicom PR Group (OPRG) CEO Karen van Bergen will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award in New York on May 2, at the 18th edition of the North American SABRE Awards.
Van Bergen was named OPRG CEO in February of 2016, following a rapid rise up the ranks within the holding group. Her elevation to the newly-created role put the Dutch native in charge of the world's largest PR operation — reporting revenue of $1.375bn in 2016 — and including such storied agencies as FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli.
As a 2013 Profile of van Bergen makes clear, collaboration, cultural sensitivity and committed leadership have been hallmarks of a career that has taken in a number of senior agency and in-house roles across the globe.
"Karen is a natural leader, with the ability to craft a vision and inspire her team to work incredibly hard to achieve it," says Dale Adams, chairman and CEO of Omnicom's DAS unit, within which OPRG sits. "She is one of the most collaborative professionals I have ever met — collaboration has been a hallmark of her work, and has been instrumental in her success."
Van Bergen had previously served as global CEO at Porter Novelli since 2012, helping to stabilise an agency in considerable tumult. Prior to that she worked at FleishmanHillard in Europe, where she was senior partner and SVP, playing a pivotal role in the creation of the joint Fleishman-Ketchum OneVoice team for Philips.
Before FleishmanHillard, van Bergen served two stints with McDonald’s totaling more than 13 years. She was chief of staff, vice president of corporate affairs for McDonald’s Europe, and director of marketing, communications and government relations McDonald’s Central Europe/Central Asia division.
"Karen loves a great challenge, and has taken on some daunting ones over the course of her career" adds Adams. "Her success in the face of these challenges has provided great momentum behind her career, and has led to increasingly challenging roles and responsibilities."
Van Bergen began her career at Dutch firm Van Luyken, before she joined McDonald's in 1992. She also spent three years at Coca-Cola in Europe.
"Fundamentally, Karen is an incredibly skilled client counselor and problem solver," says Adams. "She is whip smart, with a strong business sense, a global perspective and ability to build rock-solid relationships with clients built on trust and delivering measureable results."