GroupM, the media management arm of WPP, has promoted Colin Barlow to the role of chief operating officer for GroupM Global, a new position at the company.
In his new post, Barlow will lead financial oversight, acquisitions, corporate partnerships, and operational efficiencies of tools, systems and processes. He will also contribute to the oversight of trading operations.
Previously, Barlow served as GroupM global chief financial officer since 2007. In that role, he was responsible for all financial and information technology management activities for GroupM operating companies -- which include Mindshare, MediaCom, Maxus, MEC and Xaxis.
Earlier, Barlow served as CFO of GroupM EMEA and previously worked at companies including Razorfish and Arthur Andersen.
Barlow reports to Dominic Proctor, president of GroupM Global, and is based at the company’s North America headquarters in New York City. His role is effective immediately.
Stuart Diamond, previously the GroupM North America CFO, will succeed Barlow as the company’s global CFO.
“We have ambitious plans to continue to grow our business rapidly, and to do so, it has been clear to me that we need to strengthen the management team,” said Proctor. “The creation of this role is in line with our efforts to increase effectiveness across our operations and to continue to provide our agencies with outstanding operational efficiencies.”
Proctor added that Barlow’s combined background in finance and technology make him well suited for the COO role. “With his experience, he will be able to effectively provide strategy and leadership with our teams across finance, technology, analytics/data, trading and global human resources.”
Commenting on his appointment, Barlow said that over the last several years “the activities of media agencies have become incredibly complex. Our agencies strive furiously to simplify and help navigate media complexity, while at the same time delivering in-depth insight and excellent execution. I’m passionate about building the platforms and partnerships that can help the agencies deliver in the 100-plus markets in which we operate.”