ROCHELLE "SHELLY" LAZARUS
Rochelle “Shelly” Lazarus was born on September 1, 1947 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Lazarus attended Smith College, an all-women's school in Northampton, Massachusetts. During her senior year she was inspired by a conference presented by the Advertising Women of New York that led her to consider a career in advertising. In 1968 she graduated from Smith with a bachelor's degree and went on to Columbia University. One of four women in her class, she earned an MBA from Columbia in 1970. That same year she married George Lazarus, a pediatrician, with whom she had three children. Lazarus steadily worked her way through the corporate world, beginning at Clairol where she became assistant product manager in 1970, but soon moving to Ogilvy & Mather in 1971. She served as an account executive until 1974, when she followed her husband to Dayton, Ohio, while he served in the Air Force. Lazarus spent two years as a department store buyer. In 1976, the family returned to New York, and Lazarus returned to Ogilvy & Mather, the company where she would spend the next thirty plus years. In 1995, Lazarus became president and Chief Operating Officer of the company, before becoming CEO in 1996 and Chairman in 1997. She held the title of CEO until 2008 and became Chairman Emeritus in July 2012. Under Lazarus’s leadership, Ogilvy & Mather attracted some of the world’s largest brands including American Express, BP, Coca-Cola, IBM and Unilever. She was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 2013 and is also a Hall of Fame member of the DMA, American Marketing Association and Crain's New York Business. Lazarus serves on the boards of several corporate, philanthropic and academic institutions: The Blackstone Group, Merck, Rockefeller Capital Management, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, World Wildlife Fund, Partnership for New York City, Lincoln Center, and the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School.
"Advertising can accelerate change, but it can’t create it."