Industry Profile: Maxus MD, Katy Websdell

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 July 2016

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia.

This week we head to Sydney to speak to Katy Websdell, Maxus Communications Australia managing director for Sydney.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

I’ve been MD of Maxus for eight months and part of the GroupM family since 2012.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We lead our clients, helping them navigate through the ever-changing media landscape developing solutions that are simple, creative, effective and efficient – and that deliver tangible benefit to their business.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Ensure my team has the best possible environment and resources to deliver great work to our clients.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

The day before I joined Maxus the agency lost GSK, one of its biggest clients. The company’s major milestone has been to come out of that experience stronger than ever with a renewed focus on our people, culture and capabilities.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

It never stands still.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

I’m a media lifer. I started out at an independent media agency in the UK where I spent more than a decade before heading to Australia five years ago and joining MediaCom.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Having recently attended the Maxus female empowerment initiative, Walk the Talk, where we discussed our career aspirations and women’s tendencies to underplay their ambition, I’m going to make a bold statement. I’d like to follow in the footsteps of the ever-impressive Maxus global CEO Lindsay Pattison and in three years time myself be a CEO.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I’m something of an oversharer so there’s not much the Maxus team doesn’t know about me. The only thing that comes to mind is that when I was 10 years old, I broke my school’s high jump record. Despite my short stature, I was the only member of the track and field team who could do the Fosbury Flop. The message is never underestimate the little guy.

Top networking tip:

Be yourself, and remember to follow up after the event to show you are interested and to ensure the contact remembers you. Either a quick email, note or contact via LinkedIn.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Drink Better Wine in North Sydney, a one minute walk from the office. I keep them in business.

My favourite advert is:

Volkswagen: Think Small

think small

My must-have gadget is:

It’s obvious, but my iPhone. I can’t live without it and it’s permanently in my hand.

My favourite media is:

I’m a little late to the party but I’m loving podcasts right now. The immersive nature of Serial has got me obsessed. I like that podcasts don’t take anything from you – in this crazy world, you can shut your eyes and simply take in the experience.

My favourite TV show is:

Girls. I recently binge-watched the entire season.

The last book I read:

Having attended Walk the Talk in Thailand I’ve had plenty of time at the airport to choose a good book. I’m half way through The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw. It’s a mystery set in Paris and Japan, it’s exotic and intriguing.

My mantra/philosophy is:

Live. Love. Laugh - at yourself.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I’d heard a little bit about it and it sounded like fun. Turns out, it was.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Turning my weekend hobby of upcycling old furniture into a full-time job.

In five years' time I'll be:

No doubt conducting virtual reality meetings with our clients as we discuss the next tech opportunities presented to the industry.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Gin and tonic.

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