The new 34 year-old CEO of Mindshare, Katie-Rigg Smith, has confided in B&T that her promotion to top job on Monday was not altogether unexpected.
Rigg-Smith, who is the only female leader of a media agency in Australia, in addition to the youngest, took over from James Greet after he left suddenly last week to take up the role of CEO at Ikon, replacing Dan Johns.
But Rigg-Smith yesterday told B&T both Greet and GroupM chairman, John Steedman, had been grooming her for a CEO role for more than a year.
“He and Steady had made it clear about a year and a bit ago that they wanted me to be a CEO one day. So the fact that I’m getting the job isn’t the shock, but that James is going is obviously sad.”
Greet, who has driven Mindshare’s Australian, Japan and Korean operations for three years, has been a significant mentor to Rigg-Smith who, up until now, has served as chief strategy officer.
“I’m really excited to be honest. I will admit at first it was a shock that James was leaving and sad to know that he’s going, but he has been amazing to me in my career and I’m really excited by the opportunity now."
Rigg-Smith has been with Mindshare for over 14 years during which time where she worked on the implementation and trading side for a few years before stepping into strategy.
In her previous role she headed up a team of 28 strategists nationally which involved a mixture of data analysts, insight specialists, strategists and co-creators.
Rigg-Smith will feature on next week’s episode of The Brief, where she will discuss her vision for Mindshare, fundamental changes in the media agency landscape, recent controversies over profit margins, and women in leadership.