GroupM North America streamlines operations
14 November, 2016
Organizes all resources into investment and platform services
Lyle Schwartz named President of Investment, North America
Phil Cowdell named President of Platform Services, North America
— GroupM, the media investment group of WPP, today announced a simplified management structure in the U.S. and Canada designed to deliver consistent and cohesive resources to GroupM agencies centered around two fundamental pillars: media investment and platform services. The changes will streamline the organization, ensuring continued product innovation and better unification of services for GroupM agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, Essence and M/SIX. As part of the simplified structure, Lyle Schwartz is promoted to President of Investment, overseeing the entirety of GroupM’s investment resources, marketplace analytics and media implementation. Phil Cowdell is appointed President of Platform Services, a new organization that encompasses all of GroupM’s data-centric solutions, including programmatic media, search marketing, social media, digital operations and digital analytics. Schwartz and Cowdell report to Brian Lesser, CEO of GroupM North America.
Lyle Schwartz is named President of Investment, North America, with responsibility for overseeing investment in the company’s largest region, where more than $30B (RECMA) is invested on behalf of clients annually. On Schwartz’s promotion, Lesser said, “This is the first time someone with a research and analytics background has been named trading chief for a major media investment group. This decision underscores our belief that data and insights are fundamental to the success of the entire business.”
Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience at WPP inclusive of his early positions at Y&R prior to its acquisition by WPP. Schwartz helped build the research department at GroupM, which is already fully integrated into the trading organization to support insights-driven ‘one voice trading,’ another point of distinction in GroupM’s approach to media investment. Schwartz has made significant contributions to a number of company and industry-wide milestones, including the development of C3 ratings for time-shifted TV, defining viewability in digital and pushing the industry for platform-agnostic video measurement. All North American investment team members across TV, digital, radio, print and local now report up to Schwartz.
In conjunction with Schwartz’s promotion, Rino Scanzoni, GroupM’s long-standing Chief Investment Officer in North America, is transitioning to Executive Chairman and CEO of both Midas Exchange, a WPP company focused on corporate trade, and Modi Media, GroupM’s advanced television division in the U.S. Scanzoni will continue to build and expand new trading products as well as contribute to market strategy for the group.
“Rino Scanzoni is widely recognized as one of the most determined, innovative and influential media investment chiefs, not only in the U.S., but worldwide,” said Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman of GroupM Global. “Rino’s unwavering focus on negotiating the best media opportunities and the best value for our clients, combined with his uncanny ability to find solutions that also benefit our media partners has strengthened the media ecosystem in the U.S. and has driven our clients’ and GroupM’s success. We’re so very pleased that he will continue working with our group in a new capacity focused on Midas Exchange, Modi Media and strategic marketplace opportunities.”
Phil Cowdell is appointed President, Platform Services, North America, a new organization that will encompass programmatic media, search marketing, social media, digital operations and digital analytics. This unified team will enable marketers who work with GroupM’s agencies to find, create and activate their most important audiences and gain a competitive advantage.
For the past two years, Cowdell served as the North American CEO of MediaCom where he has been instrumental in helping the agency win more than $1.5 billion in new business from companies including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bayer, Sony Playstation and Mars. With 29 years of industry experience, Cowdell joined WPP’s Mindshare in 2001 and has since held numerous leadership positions across GroupM and WPP in EMEA and North America. (MediaCom North America continues to be led by Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom, U.S. and Kevin Johnson, CEO of MediaCom Canada.)
On Cowdell’s appointment, Lesser said: “Aligning our teams and resources under an experienced leader like Phil will expand the support GroupM provides to our agencies and their clients. With his track record leading successful agency teams, he knows very well the need for powerful, nimble and adaptable tools to help drive our clients’ success, and his inspiring leadership will help the Platform Services team do just that.”
GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, and Essence, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM’s primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, and proprietary tool development. GroupM’s focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people, and is increasingly working closely for the benefit of clients with WPP’s data investment management group, Kantar. Together GroupM and Kantar account for over 50% of WPP’s group revenues of more than $20 billion.
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