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News Plus 21 Apr 2022 - 2 min read

Aimee Buchanan overhaul continues as GroupM taps Mediabrands for new Mindshare chief Maria Grivas

By Brendan Coyne - Editor
Aimee Buchanan, Maria Grivas, Mark Coad

GroupM chief Aimee Buchanan, incoming Mindshare CEO Maria Grivas, Mediabrands boss Mark Coad.

Aimee Buchanan has tapped another rival holdco exec as her overhaul of GroupM continues. Reprise CEO Maria Grivas will join as Mindshare CEO in October leaving Mediabrands seeking a successor to lead its centralised performance agency.

What you need to know:

  • Maria Grivas joins Mindshare as CEO in October.
  • Mediabrands boss Mark Coad now working on Reprise succession.

Aimee Buchanan has tapped another rival holdco exec as her overhaul of GroupM continues. Reprise CEO and former UM data and technology chief Maria Grivas will join as Mindshare CEO in October.

Grivas, who pipped internal candidates as well as external candidates to the role, comes with a reputation as a strong new business pitcher and strategist, having worked with the likes of Sam Geer and Matt Baxter at UM when the agency was at its peak before taking the Reprise gig 12 months ago.

She will be well known to GroupM Chief People Officer Scott Laird who joined the business from Mediabrands’ Initiative in late last year.

Grivas will now step into Katie Rigg-Smith’s shoes after the long-time Mindshare boss accepted the offer to become WPP Chief Strategy Chief. Grivas will take responsibility for a business unit with some $400m in billings and counting the likes of NAB, Nike, IKEA, Volvo, Kimberly Clark, Craveable Brands and General Mills among its roster, plus some 250 staff.

Mediabrands CEO Mark Coad, who described Grivas as the “ideal future leader” when making her Reprise CEO,  said the move was a blow to the agency but wished her all the best.

“Maria will be greatly missed.  She has been part of the Mediabrands team for a long time providing outstanding strategic counsel to our clients.  She has also been an invaluable member of our leadership team; mentoring younger staff and being a genuine good person to have around the office, said Coad. Her contribution to Mediabrands has always been outstanding ... We wish her every success.”

Grivas brings a commitment to “demonstrating the value of marketing as a growth driver” to the role alongside “a unique blend of high emotional intelligence coupled with smarts”, according to GroupM’s Buchanan.

Katie Rigg-Smith will continue to run Mindshare until October.

“Maria is a unique talent with the perfect blend of EQ and IQ and exactly what Mindshare needs to take the agency into the next chapter,” said Rigg-Smith. “I can’t wait to see what she and the team achieve.”

Grivas said she aims to focus on “growth that places value on purpose over profit, that drives brands forward in their ESG goals” and with staff wellbeing and future capability at the core.

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