IPG’s Erica Schmidt Becomes Cadreon’s Global CEO

Erica Schmidt, Cadreon’s former EVP and managing director in North America, has been promoted to global CEO of the programmatic unit, the company said Wednesday.

Schmidt takes over the role from Arun Kumar, chief marketing and data technology officer of IPG Mediabrands, who oversees the group’s central media, data and technology practice as well as the media agency Reprise.

Schmidt, who reports to Kumar, will oversee more than 1,000 employees and work closely with Kumar’s team to scale Cadreon’s technology and programmatic expertise, which already exists in 70 global markets.

“In today’s landscape, it’s increasingly important for our clients to have a solid infrastructure as it pertains to data and their technology stack,” she said. “In order to get to that data-driven future, we’re making sure we scale.”

Cadreon will continue to invest in its data stack, AMP, as well as its Unity platform, which automates audience planning and optimization across walled gardens. And Schmidt will continue to push relationships with walled gardens to make it easier for Cadreon to maximize client investments across platforms.

“We’re adding layers of AI so that what can be automated is automated to give our campaign managers and traders opportunities to spend time on the right things, rather than repetitive processes, and get greater results for our clients,” she said.

Both AMP and Unity will be central to Cadreon’s work in advanced TV buying, a practice launched within the programmatic unit three years ago. Cadreon will also apply programmatic and data-driven practices to mediums such as audio and out-of-home buying.

“Our vision and purpose is any audience that we can syndicate and leverage on any channel, we will,” Schmidt said.

Unlike other holding companies, which have disbanded or integrated their trading desks into operating agencies as programmatic became mainstream and clients began demanding more transparency, Cadreon remains a distinct unit within Mediabrands. Clients value the specialization Cadreon brings to partnerships with media agencies, Schmidt said.

“As much as people talk about consolidation or things getting simpler, the Lumascape is still very complex, so we really believe in keeping the core in our center of excellence,” she said.

As clients learn more about the mechanics of programmatic and how the ecosystem works, they’re asking more questions than ever. For Cadreon, that sparks deeper conversations with clients around programmatic strategy and an opportunity to consult on how to activate their data, Schmidt said.

“Our clients want to get deeper under the hood of fundamentally understanding how we do what we do,” she said. “We’re making some big bets in regards to client data and giving them an opportunity to catalyze it for the future.”

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