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GroupM unveils new senior leadership roster in APAC

GroupM APAC leadership Nexus
From L to R: Arshan Saha, Jon Thurlow, Deepika Nikhilender, and Brett Poole
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Singapore – GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced a roster of C-suite appointments in APAC that will be leading the regional transformation of GroupM Nexus – the global performance organisation that unites the network’s performance talent and technologies into one single outfit.

The appointees are Arshan Saha, the new CEO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Jon Thurlow, the new COO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Deepika Nikhilender, the new CEO of Xaxis APAC, and Brett Poole, the new CEO of Finecast APAC and AUNZ.

A founding member of Xaxis APAC, Saha rose through the ranks to become APAC CEO of Xaxis and GroupM’s data-driven specialty businesses, including INCA, Finecast, Sightline, and Acceleration. For over a decade, he led the expansion of Xaxis – an A.I.-powered programmatic engine – into 16 markets and multiplied its revenue by 20-fold.

Saha shared that GroupM Nexus is a cross-channel performance-led organisation that unites its expertise in service excellence, AI technology and the most advanced solutions. 

“This is the future of marketing, and we are poised to offer our clients and agencies the most powerful performance engine that will accelerate their growth. I’m honoured to be working alongside some of the world’s best specialists at GroupM Nexus to collectively cultivate a better media ecosystem,” he added.

Meanwhile, as the new COO of GroupM Nexus APAC, Thurlow will be driving the transformation of Nexus alongside Saha. His new role is an additional appointment to his corporate remit as COO of GroupM APAC.

Thurlow is one of the region’s most accomplished practitioners across the breadth of the network’s business. He architected the consolidation of GroupM’s search, social, commerce, programmatic, and addressable practices in APAC, and for almost three years, he oversaw the complex integration of inter-network systems and structures across 16 markets into a unified campaign delivery platform.

Commenting on his appointment, Thurlow said, “I’m very excited about the launch of GroupM Nexus across the region. Building on the success of the past years, the expanded service and solutions offering that GroupM Nexus will create, represents a wonderful opportunity to deliver genuine market-leading innovation and produce a positive business impact for our clients.”

Moreover, Deepika Nikhilender, who is elevated from SVP to the CEO role at Xaxis APAC, has over two decades of marketing and data science experience. She steered Xaxis’ A.I. and machine-learning ambitions in the region while leading the design of marketing solutions, supply strategy, trading, and operations excellence, as well as ad-tech and platforms strategy.

Deepika commented, “I’m thrilled to embark on this exciting challenge to lead Xaxis APAC into new frontiers where we can break new ground for our clients and agencies with our A.I. differentiated initiatives and solutions. Together with the team, I look forward to cultivating a culture where our talents will continue to thrive as well as strengthening Xaxis’ capabilities to achieve our clients’ desired outcomes.”

Completing the Nexus APAC leadership line-up, Poole, who was formerly managing director of Finecast Australia, has been appointed the CEO of Finecast APAC and AUNZ. With over two decades of experience in product development, tech commercialisation, publishing, and advertising platforms, he has launched and built profitable businesses across native advertising (plista), data tech (mPLATFORM), programmatic trading (Xaxis), and most recently, spearheaded television transformation in Australia where his team grew the Finecast brand to become synonymous with addressable TV and TV innovation.

Poole noted, “I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue growing Finecast across APAC as part of GroupM Nexus. I look forward to working closely with Nexus APAC leaders to build on the outstanding work of our Finecast APAC team.”

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