Lollback calls time on GroupM CEO role

Former chief marketing officer says he plans to return to his client-side marketing roots to pursue new professional opportunities

Mark Lollback
Mark Lollback

Mark Lollback is calling time on his GroupM CEO role at the end of this week after a five-year stint at the helm of the WPP AUNZ media business.

Lollback joined GroupM in April 2016 after working as a local and global marketing leader for brands such as McDonalds, Unilever and ANZ Banking Group. His role at GroupM saw him overseeing integration between the group’s portfolio of agencies including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence as well as the debut of the Finecast addressable TV business.

In a statement, WPP AUNZ said it was now looking for a replacement. In the interim, GroupM APAC CEO, Ashutosh Srivastava, will oversee the local business.

Lollback said he was proud of his tenure at GroupM but said it was time to move on to new professional opportunities. Among these are working with a growing portfolio of startups he’s invested in over recent years, and joining the growing number of former CMOs exploring board director roles.

“I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past five years at GroupM, and I leave the business in its rightful place as an iconic global brand with an enviable heritage in the Australia and New Zealand media landscape,” Lollback said.

“Following more than 30 years working for some of the most respected multinational companies and brands across the globe, I have decided that it is time to return to where my heart is, into client-side marketing. I plan to work more closely with several innovative startups I have invested in over the last few years and use my experience and learnings to pursue independent board director positions.”

Related: CMO interview: GroupM CEO Mark Lollback on marketing, media, transparency and technology

Lollback also thanked WPP AUNZ CEO, Jens Monsees, for his leadership during his tenure with the group. Monsees became CEO of the WPP AUNZ business in October 2019.

The news of Lollback’s departure amid a flurry of leadership and structural changes at the WPP business already in 2021. Among these were the decision last month to combine local brands, Ikon and AKQA, as part of efforts to offer a different kind of media offering to market; a new more aligned structure to its Ogilvy PR business through the launch of the Ogilvy Australia Network; a new CEO, Thomas Tearle, for the VMLY&R business; and a new managing director, Dan Young, for opr’s Pulse brand marketing division.

WPP AUZ is also currently in the process of being taken over by its largest shareholder, UK-based WPP PLC, a deal which was approved through the NSW Supreme Court this week.  

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