Matt James relocates to UK for global Zenith role

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 8 January 2019
Matt James

Publicis Media CEO for Australia and New Zealand, Matt James, has been appointed global brand president of Zenith.

Sydney-based James, who has been working in the Australian industry since 2012, takes up the new role this month and will be based at Zenith’s HQ in London. He succeeds Vittorio Bonori, who was recently appointed Publicis Groupe Italy CEO, and will report to CEO of Publicis Media, Steve King.

Following his departure, Publicis Communications CEO Michael Rebelo has been named Publicis Groupe CEO now tasked with leading both sides of the business across Australia and New Zealand.

Rebelo will be supported by John Preston who moved into the Publicis Media chairman role from his position as Blue 449 CEO. James will continue to serve in a Publicis Media leadership capacity in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to his Zenith remit during the transition.

“I am hugely excited to be taking on the leadership role at Zenith,” James said.

“The network celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and is a recognised industry leader with its ROI agency positioning and development in data and technology, experience planning and machine learning.”

Under James’ leadership, Publicis Media ANZ has pulled in wins including P&G, Aldi, Campbell Arnott's and Kraft Heinz.

Speaking to AdNews in September, James boasted the clout of the Publicis' Power of One model and plans for the future.

James, who spoke at AdNews Media and Marketing Summit, has a career in global media spanning more than 28 years.

Originally from London, he started his career with Publicis Groupe in 2010 as MD at Starcom in the UK. After a stint at Nine Entertainment, he returned to Publicis Groupe in 2015 as CEO of ZenithOptimedia ANZ, before becoming CEO at Publicis Media ANZ the following year.

King said James is a highly respected agency leader, who has worked in London, Paris and Sydney and been “at the forefront of driving growth for many of the world’s leading brands”.

“He has achieved considerable success during his time at Publicis Media and I know that he will now take Zenith from strength to strength,” King said.

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