GroupM's Brian Lesser joins AT&T to set up in-house ad division

Lesser, who served as CEO of GroupM North America, is expected to help build a new analytics and advertising division within AT&T

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 8, 2017 1:55 PM

GroupM’s North America CEO, Brian Lesser is leaving the company to take on a new role at AT&T. According to reports, Lesser will be involved in setting up a new video and advertising platform for AT&T. GroupM global CEO, Kelly Clark will look after North America operations while the company searches for a replacement. 


AT&T was a GroupM client until last year when it moved to the Omnicom Group. Lesser served as CEO of Group M’s digital agency Xaxis before being elevated to North America CEO in 2015.


Organizations are increasingly looking to increase their own in-house advertising capabilities, especially companies like AT&T which control vast droves of data. Verizon is currently preparing to complete its takeover of the Times Warner network for around Rs 5.7 lakh crore, a deal first announced in October 2016. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017 once both companies receive the necessary approvals. The acquisition of Times Warner will give AT&T access to channels like Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO, as well as the movie studio Warner Bros.


Media reports quote AT&T’s Chairman and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson as saying, “Once we complete our acquisition of Time Warner Inc., we believe there is an opportunity to build an automated advertising platform that can do for premium video and TV advertising what the search and social media companies have done for digital advertising.”

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