Ben Bold
May 17, 2024

Group M broadens remit of Wavemaker global chief Toby Jenner

Jenner will remain as Wavemaker global chief executive.

Toby Jenner: Has been instrumental in Group M's leadership for more than two decades
Toby Jenner: Has been instrumental in Group M's leadership for more than two decades

Group M has expanded the role of Toby Jenner, global chief executive of media agency Wavemaker, across the group, appointing him as global president, Group M clients.

Jenner will retain his responsibilities as boss of Wavemaker, but will now oversee Group M's "global proposition and go-to-market strategy", the WPP media investment arm announced.

He will work alongside Group M leadership, overseesing strategy and operations for Group M's business development, growth, marketing and communications to clients, staff and industry audiences, Group M said.

Group M agencies Mindshare and EssenceMediacom will continue to be responsible for their respective clients, it added.

Jenner, who is British, has been instrumental in Group M's leadership for more than two decades, at agencies including MediaCom and Wavemaker. He has been based in various locations over the years, including the UK, the US, Australia and Singapore.

Christian Juhl, global chief executive of Group M, said: "Toby's deep understanding of client needs, industry knowledge and track record as the industry's most successful new business leader make him the best possible candidate to lead our growth and marketing efforts going forward.

"We have the strongest agencies in the business backed by the world's most advanced media delivery platform and codified way of working, underpinned by our unrivalled, scaled intelligence. Putting our story in Toby's hands will give us a significant edge as we further strengthen our position and look to accelerate our growth in the months ahead."

Jenner added: "Over the past year and a half, we've demonstrated the success of combining agency talent with Group M's globally scaled technology and activation capabilities.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our networked capabilities, which we have been developing across Group M to drive the next phase of growth for our organisation. I look forward to collaborating with Christian, our agency leaders, and, just as importantly, the incredible talent we have across the world's number one media group to help drive our clients' business impact and deliver them exceptional growth."

Last July, Wavemaker appointed a trio of client presidents to lead its global practices. It expanded the role of three of its executives to head its global Fast Growth, Consultancy and B2B practices; each is now led by global client presidents Alastair Bannerman, Anna Hickey and Alex Altman respectively.

Group M experienced a slowdown in growth in the first quarter of 2024. Speaking at WPP’s AGM on 8 May, WPP chief executive Mark Read was asked by several private shareholders about the loss of some media accounts.

Read repeated comments from recent Q1 results—that the Pfizer account loss and cuts by tech clients had hit growth. He added that changes, including a new CEO for Group M in North America, should lead to some improvement during the rest of 2024 and tech clients are “a source of great strength."

Meanwhile, Group M’s 2023 organic revenue growth of 4.9% helped offset a 1.6% decline in creative, according to WPP’s full-year results, when it reported organic revenue growth (minus pass-through costs) of 0.9% .

Campaign Asia

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