Madison Avenue legend Irwin Gotlieb is stepping down as global chairman of media buying giant GroupM and will become a senior advisor to GroupM’s parent company WPP.
Gotlieb was GroupM’s first CEO went it started in 2003 and became chairman in 2012. GroupM CEO Kelly Clark will continue as head of the company.
“Irwin is a one-of-a-kind visionary, and his mark on our company and the entire media business is indelible. I am one of many in this industry who count Irwin as a friend and mentor. We’re glad that he will still be available to us and our clients in his new role,” said Clark.
Gotlieb was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame in 2007.
Over his long career, Gotlieb has been in the forefront on developments in data and technology and the effect on the media business. He set up the first stand-alone media agency MediaVest in 1993. He left MediaVest to start Mindshare, now part of GroupM.
“Irwin has always been the driving force behind the creation and development of first, Mindshare, then GroupM, and more recently WPP’s focus on developing our technology assets, first party data and content,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP. “We will not miss him, however, as he will continue to be available to the Group as a trusted strategic advisor.”