Karen Blackett Announces New Future-Fit & Client-Centric Operating Structure for GroupM U.K.

  • Niel Bornman and Lisa Humphreys both join GroupM U.K. Leadership team, from WPP
  • New roles and responsibilities for Mark Collins, Paul Rowlinson and Simon Willis

London, 11th November 2020 – GroupM U.K., WPP’s media investment group, today announced a new simplified operating structure designed to serve clients’ evolving needs and enable greater collaboration across the group.

GroupM U.K. is committed to shaping the next era of media where advertising works better for people. This restructure marks a move towards key areas that will deliver on its vision by supporting wider industry advancements to improve the advertising experience, leveraging the latest innovations in technology, nurturing diverse talent to drive more insights and creativity and ultimately delivering growth for its clients’ businesses.

The new operating structure looks to help strengthen and supercharge its five award-winning media agency brands – Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and m/Six, supporting them in their growth ambitions and delivery to clients. In turn, the new operating structure will further strengthen its close partnership with WPP.

As part of the restructure, five new squads have been created to drive the business forward.  These are Customer Engagement and Growth, Products and Services, Transformation and Integration, Finance and Business Operations and Media Investment Management. The leaders of the new squads will be as follows:

  • Niel Bornman, currently Global Chief Technology Officer – Data, Product & AI at WPP, will move to GroupM U.K. in January to lead the Products and Services squad – becoming Chief Product and Services Officer. Niel’s primary focus will be building on GroupM’s track record of specialist solutions across outcome-driven media (Xaxis), and influencer marketing (INCA), while creating new opportunities in data and content across GroupM U.K. and its agencies.
  • Lisa Humphreys, current WPP U.K. Strategy Development Director, will begin a dual role leading the Transformation and Integration squad as Chief Transformation and Integration Officer, alongside her current WPP role. Lisa’s focus will be on transforming how and where GroupM U.K. works, the tools utilised, and how GroupM U.K. collaborates with WPP.
  • Paul Rowlinson moves from Managing Director of GroupM Digital U.K. to become Chief Customer Engagement and Growth Officer – leading this squad.
  • Simon Willis will move from Managing Director of Investment to become Chief Investment Officer – leading the Media Investment Management squad.
  • Finance and Business Operations will come together as one led by Charlotte Frijns, Chief Financial Officer, GroupM U.K.
  • Mark Collins will move from Chair of Investment to overall GroupM U.K. Chair.

November marks seven months since Karen Blackett OBE joined GroupM U.K. as CEO. Today’s announcement and the subsequent changes were shaped by the results of an extensive research piece – surveying key GroupM U.K. stakeholders such as employees, clients and intermediaries – and reflects the strategic priorities of GroupM Global and WPP.

Karen Blackett OBE, GroupM U.K. CEO, said: “The changes announced today are the latest iteration of our goal to work in partnership with our clients to grow and create competitive advantage. By adopting a more agile way of working with these new overlapping squads we have the ability to adapt and shape our focus based solely on client needs.

“I am delighted with the new leadership at GroupM U.K. and thrilled to welcome both Niel and Lisa. Having worked with them for many years at WPP I am looking forward to having them as integral parts of this new era at GroupM U.K.”

About GroupM

GroupM is the world’s leading media investment company responsible for more than $63B 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

Ahmed Omer
Head of Marketing, U.K.
Ahmed.Omer@groupm.com