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WPP's GroupM announces major streamlining of management in the US and Canada

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GroupM, the media investment group of WPP, announced a simplified management structure in the US and Canada designed to deliver consistent and cohesive resources to GroupM agencies centred around two fundamental pillars: media investment and platform services. The changes will streamline the organisation, 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 has been promoted to President of Investment, overseeing the entirety of GroupM’s investment resources, marketplace analytics and media implementation. Phil Cowdell has also been appointed as President of Platform Services; a new organisation that encompasses all of GroupM’s data-centric solutions, including programmatic media, search marketing, social media, digital operations and digital analytics. Schwartz and Cowdell will report to Brian Lesser, CEO of GroupM North America.

As President of Investment for North America, Lyle Schwartz will oversee investment in the company’s largest region. Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience at WPP inclusive of his early positions at Y&R prior to its acquisition by WPP. He helped build the research department at GroupM, which is already fully integrated into the trading organisation 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 view-ability 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.

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Lyle Schwartz

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.”

Platform Services is a new organisation 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. Phil Cowdell joins the new group as President after two years serving 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, US and Kevin Johnson, CEO of MediaCom Canada.)

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Phil Cowdell

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.”

In conjunction with Schwartz’s promotion and Cowdell's appointment, 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.

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Rino Scanzoni

Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman of GroupM Global, said of Scanzoni's promotion: “Rino Scanzoni is widely recognised as one of the most determined, innovative and influential media investment chiefs, not only in the US, but worldwide. 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.”

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