Publicis Media ANZ boss Matt James departs for Zenith global role

Matt James, Publicis Media’s Australia and New Zealand CEO, has taken the London-based role of global brand president of Zenith.

James’ move follows Publicis Media appointing Blue 449 CEO John Preston as ANZ chairman in August last year. At the time, Publicis said this would not affect James’ role in running the local group which oversees Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Blue 449 and Performics.

James himself was a surprise choice to run the media group’s ANZ operations in 2016 having moved to Australia four years earlier from Starcom UK to head the Nine-Microsoft Mi9 joint venture.

During his tenure as CEO, Publicis Media ANZ had wins including P&G, Aldi, Campbell’s, Arnott, and Kraft Heinz.

James started his tenure with Publicis Groupe in 2010 as managing director, Starcom UK. After his stint at Nine Entertainment which saw him move from the ill-fated Mi9 venture to group director of sales, he returned to Publicis Groupe in 2015 as CEO of ZenithOptimedia ANZ, before taking the group CEO role.

In his new role, which he takes over from recently appointed Publicis Groupe Italy CEO Vittorio Bonori, James will report to Steve King, CEO of Publicis Media.

Speaking of the move, James said: “I am hugely excited to be taking on the leadership role at Zenith. The network celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and is a recognised industry leader with its ROI agency positioning and development in data and technology, experience planning and machine learning.”

Steve King, Publicis Media CEO, added: “Matt is a highly respected agency leader, who has worked in London, Paris and Sydney and been at the forefront of driving growth for many of the world’s leading brands. He has achieved considerable success during his time at Publicis Media and I know that he will now take Zenith from strength to strength.”


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