Home Agencies Tim Castree Named CEO Of GroupM North America

Tim Castree Named CEO Of GroupM North America


GroupM said Wednesday that Wavemaker global CEO Tim Castree has been named CEO of GroupM North America. Castree does not yet have a successor and will stay on in an advisory role at Wavemaker until a replacement is named.

Castree’s big task will be to get GroupM back to growth in North America, its slowest growing market but the world’s largest advertising market. The media group suffered a number of account losses this year in North America including Ford and American Express.

Last quarter, parent WPP’s North American revenue dropped 10.6% to $1.7 billion.

“GroupM is not growing as fast as it wants and needs to in this part of the world,” Castree told AdExchanger.

Castree hopes to make the media buying unit easier for clients, staff and partners to navigate.

“We have far too many operational silos,” he said. “While in many cases we simplify around clients, it’s not always the case. And even when we do, we don’t simplify for our people.”

While details of simplification are still in the works, Castree confirmed GroupM won’t be merging any more of its media agencies, like it did last year with MEC and Maxus to create Wavemaker.

“You never say never, but I’m fairly confident there’s absolutely no plans for further consolidation,” he said. “We’ve made the calculation we’ll get better and faster growth with the four operating companies we have today.”

Castree also wants to scale GroupM’s technology platforms and expertise across WPP. The media buying division will play a major role in fulfilling CEO Mark Read’s vision on technology, laid out Tuesday, which involves building and scaling a tech and data stack across WPP and operating more seamlessly with software providers like Adobe, Google and Salesforce.

To pull it off, GroupM will have to better organize and integrate the technologies within its own network as well as with clients’ and partners’ systems.


AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

“We have amazing infrastructure, but it’s not joined up seamlessly enough and it’s not organized well enough to support our clients,” Castree said.

The news of Castree’s hire comes during a busy week for parent company WPP, which on Tuesday announced a major restructure and plans to lay off 2.5% of its staff. Since September, WPP has made two major cross-discipline mergers, between VML and Y&R and J. Walter Thompson and Wunderman, respectively, to better join up its offer for clients.

The changes come at the end of a rough year for WPP, which in April lost its longtime founder and CEO, Martin Sorrell, over allegations of improper use of funds. And after a year of slow growth, WPP’s market cap is down by roughly $10 billion since last year.

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.