GroupM has chosen Mindshare's investment lead Nicola Lewis to replace Sebastian Rennie as the group's chief investment officer.
From late April, Lewis will lead investment for Australia's largest media buyer with combined annual client spend of about $3 billion. GroupM agencies have several blue chip clients including Proctor & Gamble, Ford, Westpac, Nestle, Mars, Shell, NAB, IKEA and several state governments.
In December, AdNews revealed Lewis was one of three candidates in the running to replace Rennie. AdNews understands Lewis and MediaCom's Nicola Turley were the final two being considered for the role with GroupM's Melbourne investment director Nathan Cook in the running earlier on in the process.
Lewis has stronger experience in digital media while Turley's experience lies more in traditional media buying.
GroupM chief executive Mark Lollback describes Lewis as "a high-calibre leader with an impressive knowledge of trading best practices across media".
"In her new role, she will ensure that GroupM continues to deliver optimum media value and best-in-class investment solutions for the benefit of our clients," Lollback says.
"It’s a major advantage for our clients and people to be able to make these talent movements within the organisation. Nicola will work closely with Seb over the next couple of months to ensure a smooth transition. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Seb for his commitment and strong leadership within GroupM over the past decade and wish him luck in the future."
Lewis has been Mindshare's chief investment officer for three-and-a-half years and has strong digital media investment credentials after spending about a decade in senior digital sales roles at Fairfax Media and News Corp.
“I feel very privileged to take on this new challenge with GroupM and can’t wait to evolve the role for the future with the agency CIOs, our blue chip clients and media partners," she says.
"My time at Mindshare has been invaluable & one of the best elements of my new role is that I will continue to work closely with the team."
Mindshare has begun a search for Lewis' replacement with chief executive Katie Rigg-Smith adding: "I am so excited for Nicola and what she will bring to the GroupM role. We have thoroughly enjoyed having her drive Mindshare’s investment strategy and look forward to continuing working with Nicola in her new capacity as GroupM chief investment officer.”
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