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John O’Brien MBE

EMEA Managing Partner, Omnicom's 'ONE HUNDRED'

John is an advisor and author on responsible business, ethical purpose, CSR, marketing and communications. He is a serial founder, campaigner and philanthropist and is currently EMEA managing partner for Omnicom’s ‘ONE HUNDRED’ a consortium of nine marketing, public relations, digital and communications agencies.


John’s professional history is varied, starting with a few early years in banking followed by a decade as a British Army infantry officer, where he served in theatres around the world, retiring as a Captain in 1994.

 In the twenty-five years since, he has been Chairman, CEO and MD of a variety of business and social enterprises, working in Europe, North America, the Middle & Far East. He spent ten years as director of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’s personal programmes at the responsible business network BITC.

He left in 2010 to co-found one of the UK’s first ethical purpose agencies and has played a leading role in developing the language and thinking in this space as an evolution to previous responsible business concepts.


As a philanthropist and campaigner, he has supported various causes and agendas and founded several initiatives of national renown. These include the 2012 ‘Jubilee Hour’ which the UK Government recognized as the largest mass mobilization of volunteers since WW2, with 2.7 million participants and also ‘Remember WW1’ which formed the national volunteering component of the UK Government’s WW1 commemorative period. John co-founded the London based ‘Knot Network’ for ethical leaders in 2004, now part of ONE HUNDRED. John has been a trustee and patron of various charities including, INTBAU,  The Prince of Wales’s architectural charity, the tri-service charity SSAFA and the Military Preparation Charitable Trust. John is also currently a European ambassador for Internews, which promotes access to truthful journalism and the welfare of journalists worldwide.


John is a bestselling business author. His third book ‘The Power of Purpose’, encapsulated his experience and that of others he had worked with around ethical purpose in business. It was a UK shortlisted Business Book 2018, Amazon top10, No3 at WH Smith and a Forbes listed top ‘15 leaders reads’.John has recently been commissioned to write his fourth book, ‘Truth in Marketing’ for publication in early 2021.


John splits his time between his London office and his home in rural Shropshire where he lives with his wife, a university department head and their teenage daughter.

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