John Halpin heading back across the ditch as GroupM New Zealand’s new CEO

Apparent’s head of strategy and media, John Halpin, is set to move back to New Zealand to head up the role as GroupM NZ’s new CEO.

Halpin will work closely with the NZ leadership team across GroupM, EssenceMediacom, Wavemaker and Mindshare.

GroupM AUNZ CEO Aimee Buchanan with GroupM NZ’s new CEO John Halpin

He will be responsible for GroupM’s purpose, vision, culture and values, as well as delivering market-leading products and services that leverage the very best technology, tools and products available across the global network.

On his appointment, Halpin said: “I love the fact that I’ll be working in NZ again.

“There is an incredible talent base within our agencies, a depth of capability and the chance to work with some of Aotearoa and the world’s most iconic brands. That combination, fueled by a purpose driven and future looking vision, is exactly the challenge I’ve been looking for.

“It’s a massive honour to join the team and work with them to shape the next era of media,” he added.

Halpin will bring over 20 years experience to the role, including his time at Naked Communications as managing partner, and Ikon Communications as head of strategy. His previous clients include Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra.

Aimee Buchanan, CEO of GroupM AUNZ, said: “John’s passion for New Zealand, its culture and its people runs deep, and he has a lot to offer our people, our clients and the broader NZ industry.

“He’s a deep strategic thinker, and importantly a good human. He brings with him incredible global and international experience, with a strong understanding of and deep connection to NZ.

“I have watched John’s career from afar over a number of years, admiring his work and I am thrilled to have him join to lead NZ into the new era of growth,” she said.

Buchanan will continue as regional CEO of Australia & New Zealand, and Halpin will report to her.

Halpin will also join the executive committee for GroupM Australia and New Zealand. GroupM said his appointment is the latest of the agency’s efforts for more balanced and diverse leadership, following the employment of Pippa Berlocher as EssenceMediacom AUNZ CEO, Maria Grivas as Mindshare AUNZ CEO and Melissa Hey as GroupM chief investment officer.

Suzy Smiley, managing director of Apparent said the agency wishes Halpin all the best in his new role.

“John expressed a wish to return to his native New Zealand to be closer to family earlier this year,” she said.

“We want to thank him for his work with Apparent over the past four years and we wish him all the very best for the move and in his new position.”

Apparent will be looking to fill his role, as Smiley said: “We are actively recruiting for a number of roles across strategy and media and will make announcements on these in due course.”

Halpin will start the new role at GroupM on July 24.


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