GroupM, the media investment group of WPP today announced a transition in leadership at MEC, a leading global media agency. After nearly 20 years at WPP and 14 years leading MEC, Charles Courtier is stepping down from the role of Global CEO to focus on interests outside the company. Succeeding him will be Tim Castree who will lead MEC’s 5,000 employees who manage more than $25 billion in annual advertising investment for blue-chip clients in 93 countries. Courtier will continue as MEC’s CEO through a transition period and step down at the end of the year, but continue with WPP through June, 2017. Castree will step into his new role in January, 2017.
“I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved at MEC and honored to have worked with such unique people at such a genuinely special agency. However, it is the right time for me to move on and start a second life,” said Courtier.
“Charles was instrumental in MEC’s global expansion; he leaves MEC with a strong culture focused on delivering client growth and a long run among the top five agencies in the world,” said Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman, GroupM Global. “We thank Charles and wish him the best in his next chapter.”
Castree will be based in New York and will report to GroupM’s Global CEO, Kelly Clark. Castree will work with MEC’s global leadership team to implement the vision and strategy for MEC’s client service excellence, product development and business growth. He brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role, spanning creative, media and digital agencies. He served most recently as Managing Director of Videology in North America, where he created innovative programmatic video solutions for agencies, clients and media companies.
Before joining Videology, he was USA Chief Operating Officer for Publicis Group’s Mediavest where he led work for major clients including American Honda Motor Company, Mondelēz, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Sprint. Previously he was Global Managing Director for Starcom MediaVest Group, where he led their global P&G engagement spanning 70 countries. He began his career with Leo Burnett in Melbourne, Australia and subsequently held roles with FCB, Ogilvy, and BBH.
Clark said: “Tim is a proven leader who will bring vision and energy to MEC. He has a laser focus on clients and what they need to win in today’s incredibly complex and competitive market. His broad range of client, agency and geographic experiences will help the MEC team continue to grow.”
GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, and Essence, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM’s primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, and proprietary tool development. GroupM’s focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people, and is increasingly working closely for the benefit of clients with WPP’s data investment management group, Kantar. Together GroupM and Kantar account for over 50% of WPP’s group revenues of more than $20 billion.