November 14, 2016

GroupM Shuffles Leadership, Consolidates Groups as Media Environment Changes

The new regime at WPP PLC’s GroupM is making big changes to its central ad-buying group as it prepares for a future in which more media is consumed digitally and ad deals are more reliant on data and technology than handshakes.

Rino Scanzoni, the GroupM ad-buying veteran who influences tens of billions in media spending each year, is moving out of his role as North America chief investment officer. He will become executive chairman and CEO of GroupM’s addressable TV group, Modi Media, as well as its barter group, Midas Exchange, which essentially helps companies trade distressed assets for media inventory.

Lyle Schwartz, GroupM’s managing partner for research and marketplace analysis, is becoming president of investment in North America, taking on media buying and negotiation responsibilities across TV, digital, radio, print and local media. Mr. Schwartz has worked closely with Mr. Scanzoni, but he’s known more for his experience in research and analytics than TV network negotiations.

GroupM is also consolidating its central resources and dividing them into two groups—investment and platform services. The investment group, which includes the network-level ad-buying team that negotiates with ad sellers and houses buying resources like research, will be overseen by Mr. Schwartz, while Phil Cowdell, CEO of Mediacom North America, will move into a new role overseeing platform services. The platform services group will incorporate most digital operations, including GroupM’s search and social group Catalyst, data and analytics resources, and the network’s programmatic buying group that offers disclosure on agency and media costs.



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