GroupM’s Seb Rennie joins LiSTNR as executive head of commercial

Chief investment officer at GroupM, Seb Rennie is joining the LiSTNR business at Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) as its executive head of commercial.

Rennie has had a 15-year career at GroupM, spending the past 8 years in the chief investment officer role, with 3 of those based in Canada. 

Rennie leaves the group after 15 years.

Rennie returned to Australia in 2021. GroupM said his replacement will be announced shortly.

IN his new role he will lead commercial strategy and driving the digital audio division at SCA, using his 25-years of experience across media agencies.

CEO of SCA, Grant Blackley said: “Seb is a proven leader with unrivalled media negotiation and investment strategy skills, a strong managerial background, and a proven track record in the creation and implementation of plans to deliver on business needs. We are thrilled to have an executive of his calibre and experience join us and I look forward to seeing LiSTNR’s commercial strategy continue to gain further momentum – delivering a leading digital audio service and accompanying growth rate.”

On joining LiSTNR, Rennie said: “The opportunity to lead LiSTNR’s commercial strategy was too good to pass up. I have watched LiSTNR’s growth, innovation, and commercial success with keen interest; it’s a unique offering in the Australian market with enormous untapped potential for advertisers. The digital audio sector is primed for strong growth this year and beyond, and LiSTNR’s addressable audience of more than one million people is a sustainable and highly saleable commercial proposition.

“It’s a very exciting time to be joining SCA and I look forward to working with the team to deliver compelling commercial outcomes for both advertisers and LiSTNR.”

LiSTNR, home to some of Australia’s most popular podcasts

Aimee Buchanan, GroupM Australia and New Zealand CEO told Mumbrella: “Seb is a fantastic operator and has played a phenomenal part in shaping GroupM and our agencies in his 18 years with the group.

“He has worked alongside our agency teams to drive our world-leading Media Decarbonisation Framework and to implement our Responsible Investment Framework which puts Brand Safety, Data Ethics, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Responsible Journalism, Sustainability and Transparency at the heart of our investment strategy and he leaves a strong, experienced and stable team in place in the group and our agencies. I’ve enormously enjoyed working alongside him. We thank him for all his contributions and we all wish him the best as he takes on this new challenge. We’re underway with the search for his replacement.”

Rennie started his career at Mediacom UK in 1998, moving to Sydney in 2000 to join OMD. He then returned to Mediacom in 2007 as group trading manager, before taking his first chief investment officer role at former GroupM agency, MEC. 

He was then promoted in 2015 to the group role, where he has been across two markets since.

This follows a major week for GroupM, which announced a new CEO for its largest agency, EssenceMediacom on Wednesday, with Pippa Berlocher replacing Pat Crowley.

The group has gone through significant change recently, following the merger of the two agencies. It has also made a number of recent senior hires outside of Berlocher, including Tom Braybrook to help launch Accelerate, Matt Scotton and Stephanie Douglas-Neal.

LiSTNR launched less than two years ago, and is now the largest podcast sales representative in Australia, as well as one of the largest networks.

Rennie will commence his role on 20 March.


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