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MediaCom CEO Willie Pang made managing director of Group M services

MediaCom AUNZ CEO Willie Pang is stepping away from the agency to take a broader role across GroupM as managing director of GroupM services.

Pang’s appointment follows the March departure of GroupM’s local CEO Mark Lollback. The search for the CEO is still underway, with Pang’s new role created to build on the digital leadership of the group.

Willie Pang

In his new role, Pang will be working with the CEOs of each of GroupM’s agencies and investment teams to align the business with GroupM’s global transformation team to improve efficiency and results for clients through implementing data, technology and process improvements.

In his place, Yaron Farizon, currently CEO of MediaCom Russia and MediaCom Connections Israel, will become CEO of MediaCom AUNZ, taking up the post on 1 June.

Farizon played a pivotal role in the network winning and retaining key accounts including Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company and Tele2.

Yaron Farizon

Ashutosh Srivastava, GroupM APAC CEO says: “GroupM’s mission is a simple one, to make advertising work better for people. Yaron and his team have consistently provided some exceptional results for clients in his current position, and we are grateful he has chosen to continue this success with MediaCom Australia. At the same time, Willie’s role as leader for GroupM Services is a critical first step in bringing together the best and the brightest across our agencies to provide best in market, world class expertise in all media platforms to our clients.”

Pang has been with MediaCom since 2015, starting out as chief digital office before being elevated to chief operating officer and finally CEO in 2018. Globally, the agency has been on a new business streak, taking on the accounts for Duracell, Uber and Hasbro in 2020. As part of the latter appointment, Mediacom locally also picked up Hasbro’s local media account worth $6 million.

However the local business has recently taken a hit, losing the Victorian Government’s $100 million master media account in March to OMD.

In a statement Pang said he was thankful for the team at MediaCom for their commitment to helping clients grow and was looking forward to his next step with the business.

“I’m energised by the prospect of widening my perspective and influence across the group in this new role. Ultimately, our success is defined by our ability to help our clients to grow. I’m proud of the level of sophistication that we have built in MediaCom over the past years and way we’ve helped clients to accelerate growth with data, technology and big ideas,” Pang said.

“I’m thankful to our teams for believing in the vision and know that the platform is set for Yaron to do even bigger and better things. He’s a world class leader and I’m looking forward to seeing MediaCom continue to fly.”

Farizon commented: “I’m excited to be coming to Australia to work in this incredible market. As ever, my focus will be on building an excellent product and creating amazing and ambitious teams. I have a never-ending curiosity and a passion to learn and evolve and I am looking forward to doing so down under.”

Farizon’s appointment comes a week after minority shareholders voted in favour of WPP’s bid for the remaining 38.5% shares in WPP AUNZ it did not already own, paving the way for the takeover to go through. His appointment is demonstrative of the closer global ties that are expected to form between agency offices in Australia and their global networks.

“I’m delighted that Yaron will be leading our Australian and New Zealand team. He is an inspiring leader who has demonstrated his ability to win new business as well as ensuring his teams are able to create brilliant work that drives client success. I’m really looking forward to seeing him make his impact in Australia,” said Mark Heap, MediaCom APAC CEO.

Jens Monsees, WPP AUNZ CEO, added: “With the pace of change that the world is experiencing, we know that technology, data, customer experience and creativity are the core ingredients to success. Having two world-class leaders such as Yaron and Willie in pivotal positions for GroupM underpins its place as the region’s leading data and tech led agency.”

Farizon will be succeeded in Russia by Alexandra Kondrashtina, the agency’s current chief digital officer. In Israel, client director Shimi Hamias and buying director Yulia Shavelzon will assume leadership of the agency as co-managing directors.

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