While a replacement is yet to be found, Mark Patterson, GroupM APAC CEO, will take over responsibility in the interim “if required”, the company said. Steedman will continue to work with the agency in a consultancy role as non-executive chairman.
“Steady and I have known each other as colleagues and friends for 30 years since we were both juniors at JWT, although at different ends of the world," said Dominic Proctor, president GroupM Global. "He has been brilliant for us and we wish him a brilliant time off.”
Steedman was made GroupM’s Australasia chairman and CEO in 2010. The former Asia-Pacific CEO was previously working in a two-day-a-week consulting role with GroupM.
“He has given his all professionally and personally to first build Mindshare and then GroupM in both Asia Pacific and Australia and create the remarkable company we all are very proud of today,” said Patterson. He added that Australia is a top 10 market for GroupM and leads the way in many areas.
Commenting on his departure Steedman said, “it’s time to step back and give the next generation the opportunity to lead. Our [GroupM] success is testament to the incredibly talented people we have among our ranks and I feel honoured to have worked with each ane every one of them.”