GroupM Makes Leadership Changes, Consolidates Central Resources

By Erik Oster 

GroupM made major changes to its leadership and management structure, consolidating its offerings under the pillars of media investment and platform services.

Lyle Schwartz was promoted to president of investment, tasked with overseeing GroupM’s investment resources, marketplace analytics and media implementation. Phil Cowdell was will serve as president of the platform services division, which encompasses GroupM’s data-centric solutions, including programmatic media, search marketing, social media, digital operations and digital analytics. Cowdell and Schwartz will both report to GroupM North America CEO Brian Lesser.

Schwartz has served as a managing partner with GroupM since 1999 and helped build the media agency’s research department. Before joining Group M he spent 15 years at Y&R New York, rising to a position as senior vice president and senior analyst before leaving for Group M.

“This is the first time someone with a research and analytics background has been named trading chief for a major media investment group, Lessig said in a statement regarding Schwartz’s promotion. “This decision underscores our belief that data and insights are fundamental to the success of the entire business.”

As a result of Schwartz’s promotion, Group M’s North American chief investment officer, Rino Scanzoni, will transition to a position as executive chairman and CEO of corporate trade-focused Midas Exchange and GroupM’s U.S. advanced television division, Modi Media.

“Rino Scanzoni is widely recognized as one of the most determined, innovative and influential media investment chiefs, not only in the U.S., but worldwide,” GroupM global chairman Irwin Gotlieb, said in a statement.

“Rino’s unwavering focus on negotiating the best media opportunities and the best value for our clients, combined with his uncanny ability to find solutions that also benefit our media partners has strengthened the media ecosystem in the U.S. and has driven our clients’ and GroupM’s success,” he added. “We’re so very pleased that he will continue working with our group in a new capacity focused on Midas Exchange, Modi Media and strategic marketplace opportunities.”
Phil Cowdell
Cowdell has served as Mediacom North America CEO since August of 2014 and has also served as a WPP global team leader and GroupM president, client services for over three years. That followed a year as president of R2C Group. He previously served as CEO for Mindshare North America and CEO, Ford media services for GroupM.

“Aligning our teams and resources under an experienced leader like Phil will expand the support GroupM provides to our agencies and their clients,” Lesser said. “With his track record leading successful agency teams, he knows very well the need for powerful, nimble and adaptable tools to help drive our clients’ success, and his inspiring leadership will help the Platform Services team do just that.”