GroupM selects Maria Grivas as Rigg-Smith’s Mindshare CEO successor

GroupM has found its replacement for Katie Rigg-Smith in the Mindshare CEO role, as it has appointed Maria Grivas.

Grivas joins from IPG Mediabrands agency, Reprise, set to join in October this year. She is currently CEO of the digital agency, previously holding the role of chief digital and technology officer at UM Australia.

Grivas joins the ranks at GroupM

The appointment comes after Rigg-Smith was appointed into the chief strategy officer role at a WPP group level, after Rose Herceg was appointed president of the group in Australia and New Zealand.

Aimee Buchanan, GroupM Australia & New Zealand CEO, says: “We were looking for a highly empathic leader to shape the next era of Mindshare’s product and culture proposition and we are thrilled that Maria fits that bill so well. Maria brings with her a unique blend of high emotional intelligence, coupled with the smarts to build on what Katie and the team have established in Mindshare ANZ. She is passionate about baking purpose into the core of our proposition, which aligns so well with Mindshare’s Good Growth ambition.”

Rigg-Smith will continue in the Mindshare CEO role until Grivas assumes it later this year.

GroupM has found its Rigg-Smith replacement

The appointment comes after industry sources raised questions surrounding the timing of Rigg-Smith’s move into the WPP role, without a replacement lined up at the agency level.

“Maria is an incredibly accomplished leader. Her leadership experience and her expert knowledge in data-led transformation in media and brand communications, lend themselves to Mindshare’s greater focus on commerce, transformation, tech and experience. Importantly, her personal values, and commitment to demonstrating the value of marketing as a growth driver, set her up perfectly to take Mindshare from strength-to-strength. I’m beyond excited to welcome her to the Mindshare and GroupM team,” Buchanan continued.

The agency’s portfolio of clients currently includes NAB, Foxtel, Streamotion, Tourism New Zealand, Nike, Treasury Wines Estate, IKEA, Volvo, University of Melbourne, Kimberly Clark, Craveable Brands, General Mills among them. The agency quoted its billings annually as $400m.

Current CEO and WPP chief strategy officer, Katie Rigg-Smith said: “I know I leave Mindshare in the best possible hands with Maria taking the lead. Maria is a unique talent with the perfect blend of EQ and IQ and exactly what Mindshare needs to take the agency into the next chapter as we realise our Good Growth ambitions for both our clients and our people. I can’t wait to see what she and the team achieve going forward – I will be cheering them all along.”

Rigg-Smith is understood to have been heavily involved in the selection of her successor, after spending nine years in the role.

Grivas said: “I am passionate about the very valuable role media agencies play towards marketing effectiveness for brands, and I am so aligned with the legacy created by Katie towards this ambition. What I love about where Mindshare is heading with ‘Good Growth’ is the conscious redefinition of effectiveness for the 21st Century. I am eager to focus on growth that places value on purpose over profit; that drives brands forward in their ESG goals; and most importantly, growth that enables our people’s wellbeing, theirresilience and ultimately equips them with capabilities for the future. In my mind, this is precisely what we mean when we speak to ‘the agency of the future’ and I am so energised to shape this with Mindshare.”




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