Wavemaker’s Fajami takes helm of GroupM North America

Media giant has lost ground to Publicis and Omnicom

WPP’s GroupM, for ages the dominant force in agency media buying, appears to have been struggling to find the right formula recently. Unilever, mostly with GroupM agency Mindshare is currently reviewing its whopper global media account although that’s a regular review.

Latest in line charged with sprinkling some magic dust is Wavemaker CEO Sharb Fajami (below) who moves up to become GroupM North America CEO, replacing Kirk McDonald who left last year. Wavemaker has arguably been GroupM’s best performer recently although it tends to win mid-weight accounts. Fajami will continue at Wavemaker for now.

GroupM global CEO Christian Juhl says: “Sharb is a hands-on, collaborative leader and a brilliant thinker about the issues shaping the future of our industry. He brings a diverse range of industry experience to the role having worked both agency and publisher-side in multiple markets around the world, and his success leveraging the best of the GroupM platform to drive advantages for Wavemaker’s clients is a model for the future of our organization.”

Farjami says: “GroupM is well positioned to help our clients in North America do more with their media investments, elevate the role of marketing, and ultimately exceed their business objectives. As we embark on our next phase of transformation, I feel a great sense of privilege and responsibility to help accelerate our innovation on behalf of our clients who entrust us to shape the future of our industry on their behalf.”

Wavemaker is the product of a merger between WPP’s MEC and Maxus, one of the first of a series of internal mergers that have defined WPP in recent years. WPP is hosting an Investor Day on January 30 which may see the announcement of further “rationalisation.” GroupM, the biggest contributor to WPP’s bottom line, seems to have lost ground to Publicis Media and Omnicom’s OMG over the last couple of years.

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