GroupM names Chris Riley NZ CEO

GroupM once again has a chief executive role in New Zealand, promoting former Wavemaker MD and GroupM chief operating officer Chris Riley into the position.

In his new role, Riley will lead strategy for the group and ensure the delivery of services, capabilities and outcomes for GroupM clients in New Zealand. He will report to GroupM Australia and New Zealand chief executive Mark Lollback.

Riley will work closely with the leadership of GroupM’s four strong agencies in New Zealand to continue the group’s recent success, which includes winning eight awards at the Beacons earlier this month. 

Grant Anderson has been promoted to Wavemaker managing partner and will take over the leadership of the agency. Anderson will also join the EXCO alongside MediaCom MD Matthew Vogts, Mindshare MD Samantha Osborne, and Ikon MD Zac Stephenson. 

Chris Riley, Matthew Vogts, Samantha Osborne, Grant Anderson and Zac Stephenson.

GroupM formed in New Zealand in 2015, bringing together WPP’s four media agencies in the region and tapping into the global GroupM network. 

GroupM ANZ chief executive Mark Lollback says New Zealand is an important market in the region and Riley’s previous experience within the group makes him well-suited for the role. 

“Creating the CEO role, with Chris at the helm, allows GroupM to build on existing success and accelerate growth in New Zealand, and focus on strengthening our relationships with clients and partners. Chris’s leadership in the chief executive role will provide enhanced focus on GroupM at the same time as consistency of leadership.”

Riley has 26 years advertising, communications and digital experience working in full service and specialist advertising and media agencies in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He has previously worked as chief operating officer at DDB New Zealand, managing director of OMD New Zealand, and head of digital at MediaCom in London. 

Riley says he’s ready to tackle this new opportunity.

“The group has been working hard on our strategy of pacesetting the industry with particular emphasis on technology and data, and it’s really paid off for our clients. The talent of the people in the organisation is incredible and it’s a privilege to be able to work with them every day to guide the next stage of the GroupM growth plan here in New Zealand.”

GroupM’s New Zealand clients include Vodafone, BMW Mini, Kellogg and Tiffany.

Riley’s appointment completes a new leadership team at group level to support the leadership of the individual agencies and accelerate growth. 

In February, GroupM appointed Ben Duffy as group talent director – replacing Irena Perry who was promoted to lead HR and talent for WPP AUNZ. Steve Tindall also joined GroupM New Zealand in November as chief investment officer. 

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