Kyoko Matsushita Named Global CEO Of Essence As It Grows Central To GroupM’s Strategy

WPP agency Essence said Thursday that former APAC CEO and chief client officer Kyoko Matsushita has been elevated to global CEO.

She succeeds former Essence global CEO Christian Juhl, who became global CEO of GroupM in July.

Matsushita will continue Essence’s focus around data, technology and talent. The agency is known for its programmatic and data expertise and its proprietary products include self-driving campaigns that free talent up from the manual work of media buying.

“We want to automate where we can at scale so our talent can spend time on strategic, creative ideation with clients,” Matsushita said.

With Juhl at the helm, GroupM will begin scaling some of Essence’s platforms and products across the group. One of Juhl’s main priorities as CEO of GroupM is to automate more work across its agencies.

“The vision of GroupM is going to have a positive impact on what we do as an agency and as part of the GroupM family,” Matsushita said.

Matsushita also hopes to continue attracting and retaining top talent.

“Without great talent, you can’t create products and solve problems,” Matsushita said.

She added that Essence’s clients are looking for a “consultancy slash expert” who can create a marketing plan but also implement it: “Our opportunity is to engage the client in the early phase of their business planning and give them the solutions to implement all the way through.”

Matsushita will also continue building Essence’s cross-channel media buying expertise. The agency started in the digital and programmatic space and expanded to take on full-service media clients like Target and NBCUniversal in 2018.

“You cannot look at media in a silo anymore,” she said.

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