The word "trading" may bring to mind arbitrage -- the buying and selling of media -- but Group M CEO Irwin Gotlieb, who is known to dislike the term "buying," made it clear the new role will give global oversight to what's traditionally thought of as buying operations.
"It doesn't mean that we won't be evolving [to arbitrage] over time, but that's much more of an extended timeline," he said. "The immediate role is to get our trading portfolios right to make sure our clients are getting the best deals."
Media's global consolidation
Mr. Gotlieb said Group M created this role as a way to employ best practices in trading that have emerged from local markets at a time when media is being consolidated globally and the digital distribution of content is eliminating geographic boundaries.
"We think it's appropriate to take it to the next step," he said. "To have trading that is locally focused would be doing ourselves an enormous injustice."
As a founding manager of MediaCom, Mr. Schmidt-Vogel has worked with the agency for 22 years. According to Group M, he is a pioneer in using scale to create buying models that improve client pricing.
"After 32 years with the company, and after 22 years building the MediaCom network around the globe, I feel a tremendous passion for this new challenge," Mr. Schmidt-Vogel said in a statement. "Value creation for our clients through sophisticated and new trading models will be the backbone of all future offline and online communication."
Mr. Schmidt-Vogel will move into his new role in the coming weeks, pending confirmation of his successor at MediaCom. He will continue to be based in Berlin.