Publicis Groupe Hires US Chief Growth Officer From AT&T’s Xandr

Jay Askinasi rejoins Publicis Groupe to lead connectivity of data and tech solutions

headshot of a man in a gray suit speaking
Askinasi served as global president, investment solutions for Publicis Media prior to joining Xandr. Getty Images

Publicis Groupe brought back a familiar face, hiring Jay Askinasi as its chief growth officer, U.S.

In the newly-created role, Askinasi will be tasked with leading connectivity of Publicis Groupe’s data and tech solutions across creative, digital and media operations to accelerate the holding company’s U.S. transformation plans. This includes digital media across Epsilon and Publicis Media, marketing technology between Epsilon tech platforms and Publicis Sapient and data-driven creativity connecting the creative agencies with Publicis Groupe data.

Askinasi joins the holding company from AT&T’s WarnerMedia ad-tech unit, following AT&T’s decision to consolidate its Xandr and WarnerMedia ad sales units in August. In that role, he oversaw go-to-market sales and strategy and was responsible for agency and partnership revenue across advanced TV, digital, linear and programmatic as svp, agency and platform partnerships. Before that, he was president of ad-tech and data platform RUN, which Publicis Groupe acquired in 2014. He then spent around two years as global president, investment solutions for Publicis Media before leaving for Xandr.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Jay within the Groupe. Almost a year after the implementation of our country model there, our U.S. operations are demonstrating the strongest resilience in organic growth within the industry, thanks to our unique model,” Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun said in a statement. “With Jay’s appointment, we are now accelerating on the execution of our roadmap to connect our best-in-class capabilities in data, creativity, media and technology to accelerate growth for our clients and ourselves.”

Askinasi marks the latest in a line of leadership departures related to Xandr this year, beginning with Brian Lesser unexpectedly stepping down from his role as Xandr CEO in March. The following month, AT&T consolidated its Xandr and WarnerMedia ad sales units, moving the former within WarnerMedia under chief revenue officer Gerhard Zeiler. Interim CEO Kirk McDonald also left Xandr to join WPP’s GroupM as North America CEO in August.

“I couldn’t be more excited to rejoin Publicis at this critical time for marketers, agencies and media companies,” Askinasi said in a statement. “Led by our world class talent, product and data assets, the Groupe is incredibly well positioned to drive growth for our clients and move the industry forward.”

The departure also comes on the heels of Xandr adding A&E Networks and Crown Media to its Invest TV buying platform and a round of layoffs at WarnerMedia last week. Welch told Adweek that while the cuts impacted the company, they were much smaller at Xandr than WarnerMedia.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.