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News Plus 28 Apr 2021 - 2 min read

MediaCom appoints new CEO, Willie Pang moves into wider GroupM business

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

Willie Pang exits MediaCom in favour of a broader role within GroupM and will be replaced by MediaCom Russia's Yaron Farizon.

GroupM is undergoing a leadership shake-up, as MediaCom boss Willie Pang exits the agency to take on a new role within the wider business. Yaron Farizon, currently CEO of MediaCom Russia and MediaCom Connections Israel, will become CEO of the agency, starting in June.

What you need to know:

  • MediaCom CEO Willie Pang is exiting the agency to take on a role in the wider GroupM business.
  • Replacing Pang is MediaCom Russia boss Yaron Farizon. He will relocate to Australia and start in June.
  • Pang will lead GroupM Services locally, a division that links Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence with the global GroupM transformation team.

The CEO shuffle

GroupM is shaking up its executive team once more, with current MediaCom CEO Willie Pang exiting the agency for a wider role within the WPP-owned media investment arm.

Pang will become Managing Director, GroupM Services, which links all of the group's agencies to the global transformation team.

Yaron Farizon, currently CEO of MediaCom Russia and MediaCom Connections Israel, will become CEO of MediaCom.

GroupM global boss Christian Juhl is attempting to reshape WPPs media investment unit to become "more like a software company".

This was evidenced earlier this year when Mi3 reported that former local CEO Mark Lollback had launched a business transformation programme, employing PwC to assist with the initial stages.

The GroupM Services team is a key part of the digital overhaul strategy that Juhl is rolling out in a bid to achieve "faster, better and smarter results" through a combination of data, technology and process improvements.

Meanwhile MediaCom locally has had limited new business success over the last 12 months, and took a major hit earlier this year when it lost the key Victorian Government media account to Omnicom's OMD.

Globally, MediaCom has been on a roll, winning multiple agency of the year and network of the year awards, as well as picking major international accounts, most notably Uber and Duracell last year.

Farizon is said to be a major player in MediaCom global team and has been a instrumental in winning and retaining business including Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company and Tele2.

“With the pace of change that the world is experiencing, we know that technology, data, customer experience and creativity are the core ingredients to success. Having two world-class leaders such as Yaron and Willie in pivotal positions for GroupM underpins its place as the region’s leading data and tech led agency," WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees said.

Over the last six months, there has been significant change within the local GroupM executive team, including the departure of CIO Nicola Lewis and digital boss Venessa Hunt. The search is underway for Lollback's replacement.

Farizon will be succeeded in Russia by Alexandra Kondrashtina, the agency’s current Chief Digital Officer. In Israel, Shimi Hamias, Client Director, and Yulia Shavelzon, Buying Director, will assume leadership of the agency as co-Managing Directors.

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