McDonalds CMO joins GroupM as CEO

Mark Lollback replaces John Steedman, who left GroupM in June

Mark Lollback
Mark Lollback

McDonalds says it will confirm a replacement CMO early next year after Mark Lollback was appointed the new CEO of GroupM Australia and New Zealand.

Lollback has been with McDonalds since January 2012, and has built up a 20-year career in marketing and advertising. On his resume are stints with Unilever, PepsiCo and ANZ Bank.

In the new role, Lollback will work closely with CEOs and leadership teams across all of GroupM’s businesses. He takes up the post in the new year and takes the reins from John Steedman, who stepped down in June.

“It’s a great honour to lead GroupM in Australia, particularly at a time of acute transformation in our industry,” said Lollback in a statement. “We have seen enormous change over the past five years, and the next five will be incomparable.

“GroupM Australia’s diverse and unrivalled talent, from top to bottom across the business, places it in a formidable position for the future.”

GroupM’s CEO for Asia-Pacific and China, Mark Patterson, highlighted Lollback’s experience and reputation for transformation as key reasons for his appointment.

“Mark is a unique talent with a depth and breadth of experience, a leadership style and personality that will work well in our culture with an appetite for change and a natural inquisitiveness that will serve our clients, partners, him and us well,” he said.

“We were looking for someone who will bring fresh thinking, ideas and approaches to complement our current leadership team.”

Patterson also flagged “ambitious” plans for the GroupM business next year encompasses new businesses, partnerships, products, services and initiatives.

In a statement, a McDonalds spokesperson said the company will confirm a replacement early in the new year.

“Mark has been a valuable member of our senior leadership team and we wish him all the best with his new role," the spokesperson said.

In a recent interview with CMO, Lollback said he wasn't someone who backed away from a professional challenge or the need to change. In the past two years, he's spearheaded McDonald's efforts to turn its go-to-market strategy around and build sustainable business growth through an overhaul of its customer value proposition.

“Every job I’ve had has been going into a problem,” Lollback said to CMO at the time. “I love change and solving big corporate problems or businesses that are flat-lining; it’s just my mindset. I also consider myself a bit of a maverick.”

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