Chris Riley has won the new role of CEO of GroupM New Zealand

By Chris Pash | 12 June 2019

GroupM has promoted former Wavemaker MD and GroupM COO Chris Riley into the new role of CEO New Zealand.

He work closely with the leadership of GroupM’s four agencies in New Zealand and report to GroupM Australia and New Zealand CEO Mark Lollback.

“I’m pretty fired up about the opportunity to lead an exceptional group of people across our four agency brands in NZ," says Riley.

"The Group has been working hard on our strategy of pacesetting the industry with particular emphasis on Technology and Data, and it’s really paid off for our clients.

"The talent of the people in this organisation is incredible and it’s a privilege to be able to work with them every day to guide the next stage of the GroupM growth plan here in New Zealand.”

Riley has 26 years advertising, communications and digital experience working in full service and specialist advertising and media agencies in New Zealand and in the UK.

His past roles include Chief Operating Officer at DDB New Zealand, Managing Director of OMD New Zealand, and Head of Digital at MediaCom (London).

Mark Lollback says New Zealand is an important market in the region.

"Chris is an outstanding media executive and leader. After handling the dual role looking after operations for GroupM in New Zealand as well as running Wavemaker for the past two years, it is a natural transition to appoint him as CEO," he says.

“Creating the CEO role, with Chris at the helm, allows GroupM to build on existing success and accelerate growth in New Zealand, and focus on strengthening our relationships with clients and partners. Chris’s leadership in the CEO role will provide enhanced focus on the Group at the same time as consistency of leadership.”

Grant Anderson has been promoted to Managing Partner at Wavemaker and will take over leadership of the agency and join the executive committee with Matthew Vogts, MediaCom MD, Samantha Osborne, Mindshare MD, and Zac Stephenson, Ikon MD.

Riley’s appointment completes a new leadership team at group level to support the leadership of the individual agencies and accelerate growth.

In February GroupM Appointed Ben Dufty as Group Talent Director, replacing Irena Perry who was promoted to lead HR & Talent for WPP AUNZ in New Zealand. Dufty was formerly Global Head of People & Culture at Allpress Espresso and has previously held senior HR & People roles at TVNZ and FCB.

Steve Tindall also joined GroupM New Zealand in November as a Chief Investment Officer. Prior to joining he was GM of Revenue and Operations at TVNZ and before that was trading director at OMD New Zealand.

GroupM, part of WPP AUNZ, was formed in New Zealand in 2015, bringing together WPP’s four media agencies. It currently has 120 employees and has some of the most iconic global and kiwi brands in its portfolio across Telco, Automotive, FMCG and Luxury. Clients include Vodafone, BMW Mini, Kellogg and Tiffany.


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