NEW YORK, June 12, 2017 /CNW/ -- GroupM, the world's leading media investment group, today announced the appointment of Jack Smith to the new role of Chief Product Officer for North America. Smith will work with GroupM agencies and practice specialists to develop media products and services that give clients of GroupM companies greater advantage in market. Consistent with GroupM's ambition, Smith will focus on capabilities that improve communications engagement, performance and efficiency at the consumer level.
Throughout his career at WPP, Smith has been a driving force in the development of the group's capabilities in addressable (digital) media. In his new role, Smith will work across all media, including those not yet fully digital or addressable, to improve GroupM's ability to deliver personalized communications at scale. Smith will oversee product strategy, specification, development and implementation in two of GroupM's top 10 markets, the United States and Canada. He will also work directly with clients and their agency teams to deliver GroupM's data capabilities, expertise, and technology effectively. He will report to Brian Lesser, CEO of GroupM North America, and become a key member of Lesser's leadership team.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Jack for a decade," said Brian Lesser. "Jack can think strategically, innovate and operationalize technology, drive business, solve client problems, and see around corners. At a time when media itself represents a dynamic convergence and so many skills are required to master it, I can think of no one better suited to lead our product efforts than Jack Smith."
Most recently, Smith served as Chief Strategy Officer of [m]PLATFORM, GroupM's proprietary suite of data, technology and services in addressable and programmatic media. Prior to that, Smith was Chief Technology Officer for GroupM Connect, a programmatic incubator and a precursor to [m]PLATFORM. His range of experience also includes companies focused on data-driven television advertising and machine learning. Smith's history at WPP dates back to 24/7 Real Media, where he was head of strategy. While at 24/7 Real Media, Smith helped found the Media Innovation Group (MIG), which eventually became Xaxis, and he conceived and built two technology platforms to help agencies and advertisers improve the allocation and optimization of digital media. The technology and methods Smith developed evolved into essential components of [m]PLATFORM.
Smith holds five patents, and has three others pending, in applications of artificial intelligence and data science in digital and analog media. He serves on the board of the WPP Data Alliance and is a Board Member Emeritus of The University of Kentucky College of Communications.
"It's not a question of whether all media will be addressable. It's a question of when," said Jack Smith. "GroupM has always combined a clear vision with the deepest experience in data and technology to push the market toward this future. The opportunity to lead that effort in North America, to work directly with clients and the management team Brian has assembled, was an offer I couldn't refuse."
GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Maxus, Essence and m/SIX, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM's primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP's media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, and proprietary tool development. GroupM's focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people, and is increasingly working closely for the benefit of clients with WPP's data investment management group, Kantar. Together GroupM and Kantar account for over 50% of WPP's group revenues of more than $20 billion.
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