Lazarus has been working, as she would say it, “In the business I love,” for more than four decades, almost all of that time at Ogilvy & Mather.
Lazarus rose through the ranks of Ogilvy & Mather assuming positions of increasing responsibility in the management of the company, including president of O&M Direct North America, Ogilvy & Mather New York and Ogilvy & Mather North America. She was named worldwide CEO of Ogilvy & Mather in 1996 and
Chair in 1997. She became Chair Emeritus in July 2012.
Lazarus started at Ogilvy at a time when the agency’s legendary founder, David Ogilvy, still walked the halls, and personally preached that the purpose of advertising was to build great brands. Under Lazarus’s leadership, that essential mission has remained the centerpiece of the company’s philosophy, extending across regions and marketing disciplines, and attracting some of the world’s largest and most respected brands including American Express, BP, Coca-Cola, IBM, Motorola and Unilever among many others.
Lazarus has been a frequent industry honoree. Advertising Women of New York selected Lazarus as its Woman of the Year in 1994. She was honored by Women in Communications with their Matrix Award in 1995, was named Business Woman of the Year by the New York City Partnership in 1996, and Woman of the Year in 2002 by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). She has appeared numerous times in Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of America’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Lazarus was the first woman to receive Columbia Business School’s Distinguished Leader in Business Award as well as the Advertising Educational Foundation’s (AEF) Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also a member of the DMA’s Hall of Fame.
Lazarus serves on the boards of several corporate, philanthropic and academic institutions: General Electric, Merck, New York Presbyterian Hospital, American Museum of Natural History, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, World Wildlife Fund, AEF, Partnership for New York City, Lincoln Center, and the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School, where she received her MBA in 1970. She served for five years as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Smith College, her alma mater. She is a member of Advertising Women of New York, The Committee of 200, Council on Foreign Relations, The Business Council, Women's Forum Inc., and Deloitte WIN External Advisory Council. She has also served as Chair of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Lazarus is the wife of Dr. George Lazarus, a New York pediatrician, and mother to their three grown children.