John O’Brien, MBE

Managing Partner, ONE HUNDRED

John left school for a career in retail banking but joined the British Army five years later, thereafter spending a decade as an infantry officer and retiring as a Captain after serving in various roles around the world. He has subsequently spent twenty-four years creating a highly-regarded reputation in ethical purpose, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and mass public campaigning. John currently applies his experience as Managing Partner of ONE HUNDRED in Europe and as Senior Representative in Europe for Changing Our World. Prior to joining in 2017, he spent seven years creating his own ethical purpose agency and a decade before that as director of The Prince of Wales’s programmes at the charity Business in the Community. There, alongside various UK responsibilities, he created programmes covering twenty countries.

John is a philanthropist in his own right, having founded the Jubilee Hour, recognised by the UK government as the largest mobilisation of volunteering since WW2, with over 2 million participants. He also co-founded the Remember WW1 volunteering campaign, part of the Government’s commemorative activities. Beyond that, he is a patron, trustee, and supporter of a variety of UK charities. In addition to this work, John has published two books, the latest being “The Power of Purpose” by Pearson, which combines his and his co-author’s experience with insights from interviews with over sixty renowned leaders, including Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman, Dame Cilla Snowball and Dame Inga Beale. He is a regular speaker and commentator and was made a member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list for various endeavours in the UK and overseas.

Throughout his almost 40 years of working life, be it as an Army officer training his soldiers, a philanthropist creating youth programmes, or an advisor to businesses and charities, John has had a clear sense of the ‘golden thread’ that has shaped his personal purpose. Namely, John sees his life’s purpose as “helping people realise their potential.” In that vein, he encourages his colleagues, clients, collaborators and campaigners to seek their own purpose and fulfil their potential for both themselves and their organizations.

John splits his time between the London and New York offices and his rural Shropshire home, where he lives with his wife, a university tutor, their seventeen-year-old daughter and their Cairn terrier. There, he walks the Shropshire hills, collects 20th Century and contemporary art, reads and generally ponders life.

ONE HUNDRED is comprised of the best and brightest agency partners from across Omnicom Group – providing efficient and impactful solutions – making our clients more successful than any other partner in the market. Our unparalleled expertise spans brand reputation, marketing and fundraising. We provide integrated teams who think, create and execute together, providing solutions that are seamless, more efficient and more engaging