Ogilvy's Longtime Chairman To Step Down

Shelly Lazarus, a Brooklyn native, began working at the ad agency Ogilvy and Mather at a time when the industry looked much like the one portrayed on the TV show, Mad Men. After 41 years at Ogilvy, Lazarus is getting ready to leave her post as chairman. As of Sunday, she will serve as chairman emeritus.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Our last word in business today comes from a giant in the advertising industry. Her name is Shelly Lazarus. The Brooklyn native began working at the ad agency Ogilvy and Mather at a time when the industry looked much like the one portrayed in the TV show "Mad Men."

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

An industry run mostly by men. It was 1971 when Shelly Lazarus arrived at the company, fresh from Columbia University, with an MBA - a time when few women were earning business degrees.

WERTHEIMER: She avoided becoming a secretary and worked her way up the ladder, becoming CEO and later chairman of Ogilvy, which grew to become one of the world's largest agencies.

Lazarus spoke to NPR last year about what she says is essential in any business: the creative process.

SHELLY LAZARUS: Having ideas is not as important as developing them. And one of the things that I've experienced is ideas need air and they need time. And so what you look back at what the great ideas have been in marketing and business and advertising, they start as a small idea and then the art is letting them live, and continue to develop them and get them into a big idea.

MONTAGNE: After 41 years at Ogilvy, Shelly Lazarus is getting ready to leave her post as chairman.

WERTHEIMER: As of Sunday, she will serve as chairman emeritus.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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