North American CEO of the world’s largest ad buying agency network, GroupM, has left after less than a year

  • 0

North American CEO of the world’s largest ad buying agency network, GroupM, has left after less than a year

Category : entrepreneur

  • Tim Castree, North American CEO of WPP’s GroupM, has stepped down from the world’s largest ad buying network, effective immediately, Business Insider learned.
  • He assumed the role in late 2018, replacing Brian Lesser, who went on to lead AT&T’s Xandr.
  • GroupM said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s global CEO, would be acting North American CEO after Castree’s departure.
  • Sources with knowledge of the matter said the company’s need to grow in its crucial region, North America, played a role in Castree’s exit.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

WPP’s GroupM, the world’s largest ad buying network, confirmed today that North American CEO Tim Castree has left the company, effective immediately.

His departure follows a large-scale restructuring effort and Christian Juhl’s appointment in July to global CEO.  Juhl, who had been CEO of Essence, a digital agency created to service Google, was promoted to lead GroupM globally in July upon the departure of his predecessor, Kelly Clark. Castree reported to Juhl. 

“We thank Tim for his contributions and wish him the very best,” said a GroupM spokesperson.

“I’m excited about the future for me. And bullish about the future for GroupM,” Castree told Business Insider.

Several sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Castree’s departure was announced to staff at GroupM this afternoon.

The change follows other leadership announcements and revenue struggles for WPP in its largest region

Castree joined WPP in 2017, overseeing the merger of media agencies MEC and Maxus to create Wavemaker, where he served as global CEO before being tasked with filling the role left empty when Brian Lesser left GroupM to lead AT&T’s ad platform Xandr in the summer of 2017.

Castree told Adweek in June that one of his key roles at GroupM was to help execute a plan called Project Fit that would streamline the organization and cut costs. Kelly Clark oversaw the program, and Castree worked closely with him. Clark left in the summer, leaving Castree’s standing within GroupM less secure, one insider told Business Insider.

One source said many longtime employees were pushed out or left the organization as a result of Project Fit, which predated Castree’s tenure by at least a year.

Another source said Castree’s exit came in response to GroupM and its parent company’s well-publicized search for growth in the critical North American region, where it suffered significant slips before reporting improvement during October’s third-quarter earnings call.

GroupM declined to comment beyond the statement above.

The network’s agencies include Wavemaker, Essence, MediaCom, m/Six, Xaxis, Mindshare, Motion Content Group, and Performance Media Group. By its own estimates, the group handles more than $113 billion in annual media investments around the world for clients such as Ford, Google, and Facebook.

Got more information about this story or another ad industry tip? Contact Patrick Coffee on Signal at (347) 563-7289, email at or, or via Twitter DM @PatrickCoffee. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.


About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.