Adam Gerhart Named Global CEO of Media Agency Mindshare
By Alexandra Bruell
WPP PLC ad-buying unit GroupM named Adam Gerhart global chief
executive of its Mindshare agency, filling an opening created when
former global CEO Nick Emery was fired nearly two months ago.
Mindshare is among the largest buyers of advertising inventory
and works with a roster of blue-chip clients, including General
Mills Inc., Unilever PLC and Kimberly-Clark Corp. Mr. Emery is a
well-known industry executive who worked at the agency for 23 years
and was CEO for a decade.
Mr. Gerhart, also a longtime Mindshare employee, currently
serves as U.S. CEO and will take on the new role in January. He
will continue to oversee the agency's U.S. operation while the
company searches for a replacement.
He started his career at Mindshare as an assistant media planner
nearly 18 years ago. Since then, he has worked in various roles
across planning, buying, strategy and client service.
Mr. Gerhart is taking the global role during a trying time for
Madison Avenue. The ad industry faces challenges from the global
pandemic, including budget cuts by marketers, agency layoffs and
disruptions to media programming caused by production pauses and
live sports postponements.
It also comes a time when clients need help revamping their
global strategies, many of which increasingly involve e-commerce
and digital marketing, creating new opportunities for media
GroupM said in October it had fired Mr. Emery for an unspecified
violation of its code of conduct. "He was dismissed following an
investigation after we received notice of an incident last week,"
GroupM Global CEO Christian Juhl said at the time in an email to
employees that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
"We found that Nick's actions fell well short of the standards
we expect of each other and were a clear breach of our code of
conduct," Mr. Juhl said in the email.
Mr. Emery was fired after a video meeting during which he
brought his laptop into the men's bathroom at the Mindshare office
in London, according to people familiar with the situation. The
laptop showed him from behind pretending to use a urinal, the
"There was nothing sinister or salacious or exposed about the
actions that led to my dismissal," Mr. Emery said in an interview
Wednesday. "I give Adam my congratulations. I think he'll be great
and wish him good luck," he added.
Write to Alexandra Bruell at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 10, 2020 10:44 ET (15:44 GMT)
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