GroupM today announced that Jennifer Remling is named global chief people officer as long-time talent chief, Tim Cecere, moves to WPP in the new role of global head of transformation.
Essence, a global data, and measurement-driven media agency and part of GroupM, also announced today, Kyoko Matsushita as the agency’s next Global CEO.
Matsushita replaces current Global CEO Christian Juhl who will become Global CEO of GroupM on October 1st.
Remling (pictured below) is the first leadership appointment by GroupM’s incoming global CEO, Christian Juhl.
Juhl commented: “People are what make GroupM great – their creativity, drive for innovation, entrepreneurialism, and passion for helping our clients grow.
“Jennifer really understands this and has spent the better part of the last four years working tirelessly alongside myself and our leadership team to build Essence into an agency where people truly are our biggest differentiator.”
He added: “I look forward to what she’ll achieve together with the incredible talent leaders across GroupM.”
Remling brings a wealth of experience building high-performing teams in agency environments via roles at R/GA, AKQA, 360i and most recently Essence.
As global chief talent officer of Essence, she joined post the company’s 2015 acquisition by GroupM and WPP.
Remling led people solutions through critical phases of international expansion, growing the workforce by 40 percent as Essence opened 18 new offices worldwide.
Through this growth, she ensured that Essence continued nurturing a unique culture, and the agency has earned accolades for its platform-enabled data-driven consultancy that puts continuous learning with clients front and center.
This includes being named Adweek’s “Breakthrough Agency of the Year for 2018.”
Cecere was among the original leadership team after WPP created GroupM U.S. in 2003 to leverage the scale of its media agency specialists – now including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, Xaxis and an array of regional operating companies.
He has been with WPP since 1989 when he joined Ogilvy as human resources manager.
During his tenure at GroupM, which included becoming global talent chief and CHRO in 2013, WPP’s media investment group grew to encompass 35,000 people sharing responsibility for more than $48B in annual advertising by blue chip companies across the globe.
As global head of people transformation for WPP, Cecere will focus on the architecture of an enterprise-wide people function that will enhance the capabilities of an integrated team for the benefit of WPP’s more than 130,000 people worldwide.
As part of this, he will help re-think the ways in which to leverage enterprise technologies to support the career advancement and working lives of WPP’s people.
As global CEO of Essence, Matsushita will work closely with the agency’s global management team, including global COO Steve Williams, global CFO Tony Santabarbara, global chief strategy officer Damian Blackden, and global chief of product operations Rich Mooney to continue driving Essence’s client-centric innovation in data, analytics, and technology, business growth, and employee culture.
Based out of San Francisco, she will continue to report to Christian Juhl.
Most recently, Matsushita served as Essence’s global chief client officer and CEO for Essence in APAC.
She first joined Essence in 2014 to lead the agency’s expansion in APAC and was awarded the “CEO of the Year” Certificate of Excellence by Campaign Magazine for her success, including driving the fastest regional growth inside the Essence network and the establishment of Essence offices in Bengaluru, Delhi, Jakarta, Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.
With more than two decades’ experience overseeing media, marketing, business development, and operations for companies including Electronic Arts and Sony as well as Essence, Matsushita has lived, studied, and worked in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
Essence outgoing global CEO, Cecere said: “Kyoko’s deep relationships with our clients, her knowledge of our culture, and her vision for the future make her the perfect person to lead Essence into its next era of growth and innovation.
“I am looking forward to working closely with her in my new role at GroupM.”
Matsushita said: “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this truly exceptional agency at a time when data and technology give us so much potential to unlock value for our clients.
“Essence was founded to lead the industry in creating trustworthy, relevant, and valuable advertising.
“I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can accomplish when we combine this mission with our clients’ ambition and the power of data science and big ideas.”
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