Kirk McDonald To Be CEO Of GroupM’s North American Operations

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Kirk McDonald
Kirk McDonald has been named CEO of media investment company GroupM’s North American operations. He will begin his new role Sept. 15. Photo Courtesy of GroupM.

Kirk McDonald will be the CEO of media investment company GroupM’s North American operations. He will begin his new role Sept. 15, according to a press release.

McDonald will leave his post as a top executive at WarnerMedia’s Xandr ad-tech unit, Variety reported. There he served in different capacities including Chief Business Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.

GroupM has worked with well-known brands like Essence, Wavemaker, MediaCom, Mindshare and more. The company said it manages $17.6 billion in media investment billings across the United States and Canada.

North America is the company’s largest region and McDonald will oversee strategy and operations.

“Kirk brings a unique view of the market in that he has experience in media, technology and marketing,” GroupM Global CEO Christian Juhl said in a statement. “We were looking for someone who had both the right experience in media and the capability to lead the region through transformational change. Not only did Kirk demonstrate he has both, but his vision for making advertising work better for people aligned perfectly with ours. His outstanding reputation in the industry put him at the top of our list. Additionally, he has worked in complex organizations, so he understands the dynamics at play in a media holding group.”

GroupM is a subsidiary of WPP, a self-described “creative transformation company.” It is headquartered in London, England and focuses heavily on advertising, communications, media, public relations, etc.

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McDonald has received various honors over the course of his impressive career including being named to Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list in 2018 and Adweek’s “50 List of Vital Leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing” in 2015.

He said he is looking forward to his new chapter at GroupM.

“The scale and depth of GroupM NA, combined with the organization’s purpose of making advertising work better for clients and people, is the kind of ambitious objective that, when executed properly, will change the world,” McDonald said. “The opportunity to join the teams leading and shaping this change was simply too compelling to pass up.”

He told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) GroupM would provide him with a platform to scale which he hasn’t had before.

“Doing that on the publisher side you never have enough scale,” McDonald said. “Doing it for hundreds if not thousands of brands around the globe really felt powerful.”