GroupM names McDonald's CMO Mark Lollback CEO

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 11 December 2015

GroupM has appointed McDonald’s CMO Mark Lollback to the groupwide CEO role to replace John Steedman.

Danny Bass had been expected to move into the role, but he made a surpirise exit to join IPG Mediabrands as CEO in May. He has been on gardening leave for six months and only took the reins last month.

There had been much speculation around who would take on the top job at GroupM and the search for the right candidate has been ongoing for six months as the role has sat empty since Steedman left the business.

Lollback spoke about the need for marketing to be part of the C-suite on the AANA's Marketing Dividends show earlier this year. Watch it below.

The full statement from GroupM:

A highly respected CMO is taking over the reins as CEO of GroupM Australia & New Zealand.

GroupM CEO Asia Pacific Mark Patterson today announced the appointment of Mark Lollback currently CMO McDonald's Australia and New Zealand to the role of CEO GroupM Australia & New Zealand.

Mark is a well-respected/high-profile/successful leader with over 20 years of marketing & advertising experience. He will work closely with the CEOs and leadership teams of all GroupM business, including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, Xaxis and Play.

Mark’s career spans global blue chip clients including Unilever, PepsiCo, ANZ Bank and presently McDonalds. He has worked in Global, regional & local roles in UK, USA, China & Australia.

As CEO of GroupM Australia & New Zealand, Mark is replacing John Steedman, who stepped down in June and is currently serving as non-executive chairman.

Mark Patterson said: “Mark is a unique talent with a depth and breadth of experience, a leadership style and personality that will work well in our culture with an appetite for change and a natural inquisitiveness that will serve our clients, partners, him and us well. We are very fortunate to be able to welcome him to the group. We were looking for someone who will bring fresh thinking, ideas and approaches to complement our current leadership team. Our people, clients and partners will find him to be an inspiring, insightful and down to earth leader who will roll his sleeves up and make a real difference fast.

“GroupM will continue to invest in Australia as a key top 10 WW market and we have a clear and ambitious plan of new businesses, partnerships, products, services and initiatives lined up for 2016 that will both broaden and deepen our offering to our current and prospective clients as well as importantly creating new opportunities for our people.”

Mark Lollback said: “It is a great honour to lead GroupM in Australia, particularly at a time of acute transformation in our industry. We have seen enormous change over the past five years, and the next five will be incomparable. GroupM Australia’s diverse and unrivalled talent, from top to bottom across the business, places it in a formidable position for the future.”

Mark assumes his new role early next year.

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