Press release from GroupM, April 6, 2018:
GroupM, the media investment group of WPP, today announced that Irwin Gotlieb is stepping down from his role as Global Chairman as he transitions to a senior advisory role with WPP. Gotlieb was GroupM’s first global CEO on its founding in 2003, and he transitioned to Global Chairman in 2012. Kelly Clark was named Global CEO of GroupM in 2016 and will continue to lead the company.
“Irwin is a one-of-a-kind visionary, and his mark on our company and the entire media business is indelible. I am one of many in this industry who count Irwin as a friend and mentor. We’re glad that he will still be available to us and our clients in his new role,” said Clark.
Gotlieb, a true pioneer in the agency business, established the first spinout of a standalone media agency, MediaVest, in 1993. He joined WPP in 1999 to serve as the first Global CEO for Mindshare and subsequently launched GroupM globally. Gotlieb’s commitment to growing client brands and businesses, while expanding the capabilities of WPP’s media agencies, contributed to significant growth for GroupM and WPP over many years.
Gotlieb was the first media agency executive inducted into both the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame (in 2017) and the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame (2007). Ad Age, Adweek, TVWeek, Businessweek and many others have recognized Gotlieb for his industry leadership.
Gotlieb plans to remain active in the industry, pursuing his interests in data and technology. He will continue serving WPP in the role of strategic adviser.
“Irwin has always been the driving force behind the creation and development of, first, Mindshare, then GroupM, and more recently WPP’s focus on developing our technology assets, first-party data and content,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP. “We will not miss him, however, as he will continue to be available to the Group as a trusted strategic adviser.”
“I’m fortunate for the many opportunities this industry has afforded me, and I enter this new chapter with tremendous gratitude and optimism,” said Gotlieb. “I thank Sir Martin for his support over the years, and I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to WPP’s continued market leadership in an advisory role.”