GroupM Names Juhl as New Global CEO

GroupM, WPP’s giant media buying operation, said that Christian Juhl will become global CEO, effective Oct. 1.

Juhl, who had been CEO of Essence, GroupM’s global data and measurement-driven agency, succeeds Kelly Clark. Clark took the post in 2016 with a three year commitment to prepare the business for a changing media environment..

The move is the latest change at WPP and GroupM, where the executives who built those companies, Martin Sorrell and Irwin Gotlieb have either left the company or stepped down from management roles.

“Christian has the right combination of leadership, people and technology skills to build the modern media company, something he has demonstrated extraordinarily well at Essence,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “We have a great number of talented people across GroupM and its agencies, and I have every confidence in Christian’s ability to be an outstanding leader to them and an outstanding partner to our clients.”

Juhl joined Essence in 2013. The agency was acquired by WPP in 2015 and has grown since joining GroupM.

“I’m truly honored and grateful for this opportunity to help deliver on Mark’s vision for WPP as a creative transformation company,” said Juhl. “Media frames the future for creativity, and GroupM's incredible agency brands, talent, client partnerships, and scale give us the unique opportunity to help reshape the industry and the way people think about advertising.”

Clark will help Juhl with the transition and serve as a senior advisor to WPP And GroupM.

“Kelly has had a very successful three years as CEO of GroupM, reflected in its recent strong run of new business wins,” Read said. “I’d like to thank him for his dedication and leadership over many years with the company. I am delighted that he will support Christian during the transition and continue as a trusted senior advisor to the company.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.