Former Wavemaker managing director and GroupM chief operating officer, Chris Riley is the new GroupM chief executive in New Zealand.

Riley, in his new role, will lead the strategy for the group and while running the operation in New Zealand. He will report to GroupM Australia and New Zealand chief executive, Mark Lollback.

Additionally, Riley will work closely with the leadership of GroupM’s four agencies in New Zealand.

Riley has 26 years advertising, communications and digital experience working in full service and specialist advertising and media agencies in New Zealand and the UK including stints as chief operating officer at DDB New Zealand, managing director of OMD New Zealand, and head of digital at MediaCom’s London office.

Meanwhile, Grant Anderson has been promoted to Managing Partner at Wavemaker and will take over leadership of the agency and join the executive committee alongside MediaCom managing director, Matthew Vogts, Mindshare managing director, Samantha Osborne, and Ikon managing director, Zac Stephenson.

GroupM formed in New Zealand in 2015, bringing together WPP’s four media agencies in the region and tapping into the global GroupM network to bring cutting edge innovations and technology capabilities to their clients.

The operations currently has 120 employees across its four agency brands as well as its dedicated centralised data and insights business, programmatic business and trading team. Its clients include Vodafone, BMW Mini, Kellogg and Tiffany.

According to GroupM ANZ chief executive, Mark Lollback said: “Creating the CEO role, with Chris at the helm, allows GroupM to build on existing success and accelerate growth in New Zealand, and focus on strengthening our relationships with clients and partners. Chris’s leadership in the CEO role will provide an enhanced focus on the Group at the same time as consistency of leadership.”

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