- GroupM, a WPP-owned media investment agency, named Maxus CEO Lindsay Pattison as Chief Transformation Officer, per a press release. Pattison will remain Maxus CEO and perform both roles for GroupM.
- As CTO, Pattison will lead change initiatives across GroupM and its agencies, and will work across WPP to create business models to serve clients in the competitive agency space along with leading change programs that support group and agency structures, talent and leadership development, culture and diversity. Pattison will also remain a member of GroupM’s global executive committee.
- Pattison will also be involved with senior talent development and WPP’s horizontality strategy, which seeks to deliver the best of WPP's numerous offerings to key clients regardless of which agency they initially partner with.
The traditional agency model is being challenged by marketplace forces on all sides. Brands are increasingly willing to take various marketing functions in-house, and massive management consultancies like Accenture and Deloitte are making serious inroads into business territory that was once exclusive to traditional agencies. Ogilvy is one agency that has chosen to completely restructure its business to meet the new business climate.
The job title alone given to Pattison indicates her role within GroupM and even WPP is a response to this challenge. In the press release Pattison said in the broader business context GroupM is experiencing a profound transformation that will require collaboration and agility.
The news is the latest indication that GroupM is looking seriously at streamlining clients' access to its wide array of offerings. Last fall, GroupM launched a new data and digital services initiative called mPlatform that unifies data analytics and digital services including search, social, mobile, digital ad operations and programmatic into one team.