Charles Courtier, who has led GroupM media agency MEC for the last 14 years, is stepping down and will be succeeded by Tim Castree, who most recently served as managing director of Videology in North America.
Based in New York, Castree will report to Kelly Clark, who recently rejoined GroupM as Global CEO. Courtier has been based in London.
The move is the latest in a series of organizational changes ongoing at GroupM. Sources confirmed in September that GroupM Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni would be taking on a new role at the firm.
In addition to Clark’s return to the company, Brian Lesser late last year was named CEO of GroupM’s North America operation after establishing and expanding the company’s Xaxis programmatic agency.
Before joining Videology, Castree was USA chief operating officer for Publicis Groupe’s Mediavest, where he led work for major clients including American Honda Motor Company, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Sprint.
Previously, he was global managing director for Starcom MediaVest Group, where he led their global P&G engagement spanning 70 countries. He began his career with Leo Burnett in Melbourne, Australia, and subsequently held roles with FCB, Ogilvy and BBH.
Clark said: “Tim is a proven leader who will bring vision and energy to MEC. He has a laser focus on clients and what they need to win in today’s incredibly complex and competitive market. His broad range of client, agency and geographic experiences will help the MEC team continue to grow.”
Courtier will continue as MEC’s CEO through a transition period and step down at the end of the year, but continue with WPP through June, 2017. Castree will step into his new role in January 2017.
MEC has 5,000 employees worldwide and manages more than $25 billion in annual billings according to the agency. The agency was the primary incumbent on the estimated $1.8 billion AT&T media account for close to a decade before the assignment shifted to Omnicom Group after a review that concluded in August.
“Charles was instrumental in MEC’s global expansion; he leaves MEC with a strong culture focused on delivering client growth and a long run among the top five agencies in the world,” stated Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman, GroupM Global. “We thank Charles and wish him the best in his next chapter.”
“I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved at MEC and honored to have worked with such unique people at such a genuinely special agency. However, it is the right time for me to move on and start a second life,” stated Courtier.