John J. Dooner, Jr.

Chairman Emeritus and Founding CEO, McCann Worldgroup

John J. Dooner, Jr. is Chairman Emeritus of McCann Worldgroup, the global agency group he launched over two decades ago that today is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing marketing services organizations. 

In 1997, Mr. Dooner, then Chairman and CEO of McCann Erickson Worldwide, envisioned how advertising would continue to evolve in ways that would encompass such brand communications practices as integrated, experiential, digital and healthcare marketing. This led him to conceive, organize and drive the corporate strategy that transformed McCann Erickson Worldwide from its position as a leading global advertising agency to become McCann Worldgroup, an expansion that created a brand portfolio of six additional worldwide networks across the marketing services spectrum and doubled the company’s size just within its first five years. In addition to co-creating the new marketing service brand names Momentum Worldwide, Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand, this expansion included Zentropy, the first global digital communications network which would then become part of MRM//McCann.

Throughout his advertising and marketing career, Mr. Dooner has been known for his combination of bold vision, energetic commitment, and a consistent delivery of global solutions to help meet the strategic business needs of his agency’s corporate customers. He began his career with McCann in 1984 as a Senior VP, Worldwide Account Director, on the Coca-Cola business, one of the many leading worldwide brands in which he would be directly involved in helping to modernize the global advertising process. He then rose successively to become Executive VP, General Manager of McCann New York (1985-1988), President of McCann North America (1988-1992), President and COO of McCann Worldwide (1992), CEO (1994), and Chairman-CEO (1995). 

Mr. Dooner also served as Chairman-CEO of McCann Worldgroup’s parent, The Interpublic Group of Companies, between 2000 and 2003, a period when he led the acquisitions of Deutsch and True North (FCB Worldwide, among other agencies) with Interpublic as a result emerging as the largest advertising and marketing holding company. In 2003, he returned to McCann Worldgroup as Chairman-CEO and assumed his Chairman Emeritus status in 2010. Before he first joined McCann in 1984, he was at Interpublic’s Marschalk agency (now MullenLowe), and had previously begun his advertising career in 1970 in Grey Advertising’s Media Department.

In addition to his influence on McCann and its clients, he has been recognized for his industry impact on diversity and public service advertising.  Going back several decades, he was an early advocate of gender equality as evidenced by management and support of many women in their careers at McCann Worldgroup, and as Vice Chairman of the 4A’s in 1999-2000 he led initiatives in diversity and the advancement of women overall in the advertising and media sector.  When he served as Chairman of the Ad Council, he transformed the industry’s public service arm from a New York centric organization to one with an increasing local market presence through the establishment of a network of Regional Managing Directors in 10 strategic locations around the U.S.

Mr. Dooner has also applied his global expertise in business and marketing to help various humanitarian NGOs with their launch and expansion programs, including Peace One Day in its efforts to establish an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and PRODUCT (RED) in its battle against the African AIDS epidemic. Between 2007 and 2018 he served actively on United Way’s Board, including as the $5 billion global NGO’s first Worldwide Chairman. He has also served as Chairman of St. Thomas University, a 5000+ student Catholic higher education institution, and as a Trustee of Notre Dame’s Irish Advisory Council, among his service on many current and past not-for-profit boards. He remains as Lead Director of Ethan Allen ETH (NYSE).

John Dooner and his wife Cindy reside in Jupiter, Florida, and New Rochelle, New York.

Inductee, 2019 Advertising Hall of Fame

Last Updated: February 2019