Jon Cook 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, New York, Detroit, London, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Jon is a member of the WPP Executive Committee.
In 2020, VMLY&R and Geometry combined commerce capabilities to form VMLY&R COMMERCE, providing world-class expertise at a time of unprecedented global growth in ecommerce. Also in 2020, Sudler’s international healthcare practice became VMLY&Rx. Additional VMLY&R agencies include BAV Group, Berlin Cameron, KingEclient, Mutato, Scholz & Friends, TAXI and The Glitch.
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.
In June 2021, Jon once again led the agency to top 10 recognition on the prestigious Ad Age A-List, based on creativity, financial performance, innovation and the ability to grow clients’ business. Also in 2021, VMLY&R was named the Creative Network of the Year by Campaign and Agency Network of the Year by Campaign US.
In 2020, VMLY&R was honored by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies 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 agency has repeatedly been recognized by Forrester and Gartner for leadership and expertise in global marketing and digital experiences.
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, U.S. Navy, and Wendy’s.
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 serves on the advisory board. He also serves 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 seeking cures for brain cancer.
Jon is a tireless advocate for the agency’s comprehensive commitment to DE&I and more than 10 diverse employee resource groups. In 2017, he helped guide VML through the certification process with the 3% Movement — an organization championing female creative leadership, diversity, and inclusion — and VML became one of the industry’s first 3% Certified agencies.
Jon graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In 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.