Pattison lands key change brief at WPP’s GroupM

I see that Maxus CEO Lindsay Pattison (below) has been appointed GroupM’s first chief transformation officer, leading change across the WPP-owned media buying giant including supporting WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s cherished “horizontality” philosophy.

Well CTO is better than chief horizontal officer. Pattison remains global boss of Maxus.

Pattison says: “When we look at the broader business context, the transformation we are experiencing is profound. The WEF (World Economic Forum) calls it the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ a technological revolution and one that requires two key skills to succeed: collaboration and agility.”

In her time at Maxus Pattison has led a number of industry initiatives. GroupM CEO Kelly Clark says: “Clients need us to think differently and work smarter. Lindsay will help us deliver on those challenges. I’ve worked with her for many years. She’s a force and holds the respect of clients and colleagues.”

There are two issues here: one is helping GroupM in its day-to-day business dealings with clients, the other one is the elephant in the room untethered by the Us Association of National Advertisers’ report into the so-called lack of “transparency” in media agency doings. Essentially lots of large advertisers don’t trust media agencies any more and there’s a big PR job to do to try to get them back on side.

Pattison is ideal for the purpose.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.