GroupM Names Kirk McDonald North America CEO

NEW YORK (August 18, 2020) GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today announced that Kirk McDonald has been named North America (NA) CEO, effective September 15. McDonald, who will serve on GroupM’s Global Leadership Team, will lead GroupM’s operations in the region where Global CEO Christian Juhl had been dually operating on an interim basis since November.

McDonald is now responsible for strategy and operations in the world’s largest region across GroupM’s brands, including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, m/Six and Xaxis. GroupM NA manages $17.6 billion in media investment billings across the U.S. and Canada, with a 22% market share and approximately 6,500 colleagues (COMvergence, 2019). He will be a champion of GroupM’s strategy to work with agency and GroupM leadership in the region, using its scale to provide more powerful and effective solutions for clients through the development of technology-enabled services.

“Kirk brings a unique view of the market in that he has experience in media, technology and marketing,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM Global CEO. “We were looking for someone who had both the right experience in media and the capability to lead the region through transformational change. Not only did Kirk demonstrate he has both, but his vision for making advertising work better for people aligned perfectly with ours. His outstanding reputation in the industry put him at the top of our list. Additionally, he has worked in complex organizations, so he understands the dynamics at play in a media holding group.”

McDonald joins GroupM from WarnerMedia’s Xandr where he most recently served as Chief Business Officer in charge of the go to market functions including sales, communications, product marketing and marketing strategy/execution after holding the role of Chief Marketing Officer for nearly two years. Ebony Magazine named McDonald to its Power 100 list in 2018 and, in 2015, he was listed on Adweek’s list of “50 List of Vital Leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing.” Before AT&T, Kirk was President of PubMatic, the marketing automation software company, and also held roles with Time Inc., Fortune|Money Group and CNET Networks, among others.

“The scale and depth of GroupM NA, combined with the organization’s purpose of making advertising work better for clients and people, is the kind of ambitious objective that, when executed properly, will change the world,” said Kirk McDonald. “The opportunity to join the teams leading and shaping this change was simply too compelling to pass up.”

McDonald brings a wealth of industry experience to the role, with over 25 years working with the world’s leading brands, media companies and technology providers. He is particularly passionate about helping GroupM lead the way in driving real change across the industry to make advertising less interruptive and a valued part of the media experience.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Elanco (NYSE: ELAN), and is a member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council. He also serves on several other professional and not-for-profit boards including the Ad Council, Advertising Week Advisory Council, and is the co-chair of MOUSE/CI. Based in New York, Kirk and his family reside in North Stamford, C.T.

About GroupM

GroupM is the world’s leading media investment company responsible for more than $50B in annual media investment through agencies Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and m/SIX, as well as the outcomes-driven programmatic audience company, Xaxis. GroupM’s portfolio includes Data & Technology, Investment and Services, all united in vision to shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people. By leveraging all the benefits of scale, the company innovates, differentiates and generates sustained value for our clients wherever they do business.

Media Contact

Jared Baiman
Global Corporate Communications Manager
Jared.Baiman@GroupM.com