Special Report: Media Mavens 2012

Media Mavens: Kelly Clark, CEO, Group M North America

Exec Has Led Growth in Various Roles From the U.K. to China

By Published on .

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark
Résumé: Kelly Clark was bumped to Group M CEO after four years as global CEO of Maxus. He has also run Group M's operations in EMEA, Mindshare U.K. and Mindshare Asia Pacific.

Biggest accomplishment: As global CEO of Maxus, Mr. Clark more than doubled the midsize agency, building it into a competitive shop and disproving concerns about its ability to scale.

Mr. Clark may speak with a Southern twang, but the North Carolina native has spent a good portion of his career living around the world in various WPP media-agency roles. Most recently, he served as the first global CEO of Group M's up-and-comer Maxus. Under Mr. Clark, the $186 million media shop, Group M's smallest, won two of the company's biggest accounts last year -- NBC Universal and SC Johnson -- growing a whopping 56% in 2011, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

This kind of success story is familiar to Mr. Clark, who has led growth in various roles from the U.K. to China, where earlier in his career he established JWT's TV programming and syndication division. With his global leadership experience, the media native is in tune with the opportunities and challenges that exist in today's more complicated environment.

Technology, he said, has allowed for "the ability to measure what we do more accurately and faster, [which] creates huge opportunity to demonstrate the value of what agencies do for clients," he said.

Just a couple of months ago, Mr. Clark became North American CEO of Group M. He's now in the process of developing strategies for the individual agencies.

"I'm just at the beginning of this transition. There are further advantages to create for clients out of Group M's scale and technology advancements," he said. "Group M is only as strong as its component parts, so a big focus will be working with leaders of the agencies here."

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