GroupM confirmed late Thursday that Brian Lesser has been named North America CEO, succeeding Kelly Clark. The WPP media firm confirmed earlier in the week that Clark was stepping down from the NA CEO slot but would remain with the company in an advisory role.
Brian Gleason, CEO Americas at Xaxis, is succeeding Lesser as Global CEO of the programmatic and technology unit.
The company also said that Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman adds the role of North America Chairman to his duties. Before taking on the Chief Digital Officer role in 2012, Norman was NA CEO of the firm prior to Clark.
GroupM Global President Dominic Proctor stated: “Brian will be a huge part of our future and his appointment reflects our values and ambition, as well as WPP’s drive to achieve 40-45% of revenues from digital in five years.”
Proctor added that “Our future is being built on tech, data, talent and scale,” and that Lesser was “perfectly suited to help us shape that future to best serve advertisers.”
Lesser said: “GroupM has continuously evolved with clients through major shifts in the media landscape and consumer behavior with data and technology having always been part of the value proposition.” The firm, he added, “has challenged convention and forced dialogue on important issues to help clients be more successful.”
The management shifts cap a busy week for GroupM. Earlier it announced that it was acquiring control of Essence Digital, the largest independent digital media buying firm.