GroupM commits to tech and data with new leader

Xaxis founder and CEO Brian Lesser is taking over the top role for North America.

Making a public commitment to technology and data, GroupM has mined its next North American CEO from its in-house programmatic arm, Xaxis.

Brian Lesser will be taking over as CEO of North America when Kelly Clark transitions out of the role, a move that was announced earlier this week. Lesser moves to the role from his position as global CEO of Xaxis.

Clark, who is moving out of the North American CEO role for personal reasons, will take on a new advisory role focused on strategic initiatives with clients and specialty businesses, according to a statement from GroupM.

In addition to those changes, GroupM global chief digital officer Rob Norman adds the role of chairman, North America, to his title.

“Brian will be a huge part of our future and his appointment reflects our values and ambition, as well as WPP’s drive to achieve 40 to 45% of revenues from digital in five years,” said Dominic Proctor, president of GroupM global in a release. “Our future is being built on tech, data, talent and scale. Brian absolutely gets that and is perfectly suited to help us shape that future to best serve advertisers.”

Taking over for Lesser as global CEO at Xaxis will be Brian Gleason who most recently worked as CEO of North America at the programmatic company.