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GroupM reshuffle sees Blackett shape leadership squads

11 Nov 2020  |  Mike Fletcher 
GroupM reshuffle sees Blackett shape leadership squads

GroupM, Britain's biggest media buyer, has announced a reshuffle of its senior UK team following extensive research ordered by new UK CEO, Karen Blackett OBE.

The shake-up sees two people join the GroupM UK leadership team from WPP and three GroupM employees receive new roles and responsibilities.

Feedback on the company's strategic priorities, collated from employees, clients and intermediaries since Blackett took on the UK CEO role in April, has led to the creation of five 'squads' focused on 'Customer Engagement and Growth', 'Products and Services', 'Transformation and Integration', 'Finance and Business Operations' plus 'Media Investment Management'.

Niel Bornman, currently global chief technology officer – data, product and AI at WPP,  will move to Group M UK in January to lead the products and services squad and become chief product and services officer.

His 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 UK and its agencies.

Lisa Humphreys, currently WPP UK strategy development director, will take up a dual role leading the transformation and integration squad as chief transformation and integration officer, alongside her current WPP role.

Her focus will be on transforming how and where GroupM UK works, the tools utilised, and how it collaborates with WPP.

Paul Rowlinson moves from managing director of GroupM Digital UK 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 UK

While Mark Collins will move from chair of investment to overall GroupM UK chair.

Karen Blackett OBE, GroupM UK 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 UK 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 UK.”

GroupM is responsible for more than $63 billion in annual media investment through agencies Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and m/SIX, as well as the outcomes-driven programmatic audience company, Xaxis.

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