Image of Kirk McDonald

Kirk McDonald
GroupM, North America

NEW YORK, USA // One of the “50 vital leaders in tech, media, and marketing,” according to Adweek, Kirk is the CEO of GroupM North America where he leads 6,500 people passionate about shaping the next era of media where advertising works better for people. A member of GroupM’s Global Leadership Team, Kirk is a key player in championing GroupM’s strategy to work with agency and GroupM leadership in the region to use its scale in providing more powerful and effective solutions for clients through the development of technology-enabled services.

With $15.5 billion in media investment billings across the U.S. and Canada, GroupM owns a 22% market share in the world’s largest region. Kirk is particularly driven to help GroupM lead the way in driving real change across the industry focusing on increasing representation with clients and talent; as well as finding a new balance of making advertising less interruptive and a valued part of the media experience. He also believes that as the desire for brands to play their part in leading the way toward real change grows stronger, GroupM is the one to help clients be authentic and bold at this moment.

As North America CEO, Kirk unveiled its media education arm in North America, GroupM University, to attract, develop, retain, and reward employees, by making learning part of their core employee experience, creating a learning environment where the best talent in the industry has the opportunity to grow professionally and thrive in their careers at GroupM.

Kirk served as the Global CEO of Choreograph and was responsible for launching WPP’s global data company which brought together over 700 technologists, product developers, and data scientists. Kirk and Choreograph focused on helping marketers and brands realize the value of their first- party data in the fast-changing data landscape.

Kirk joined GroupM from WarnerMedia’s Xandr where he most recently served as Chief Business Officer in charge of the go-to-market functions including sales, communications, product marketing, and marketing strategy/execution after holding the role of Chief Marketing Officer for nearly two years.

Prior to AT&T, Kirk was President of PubMatic, the marketing automation software company, and held roles with Time Inc., Fortune|Money Group, and CNET Networks, among others.

Throughout his career, Kirk received many accolades throughout his career, notably, Kirk was named on Empower 100 Executives Role Model Lists in 2022, 2022 Young Audiences New York (YANY) Honoree in Business and the Arts; 2021 IRTS Hall of Mentorship Honoree, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list in 2018, Adweek’s 2014 “12 Stars of Ad Tech Who are Building the Future of the Industry Right Now” list and Business Insider’s 2014 “The 46 Most Important African-Americans in Technology” list, among others.

Kirk is a founding member of the Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA). He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Elanco (NYSE: ELAN) and is a member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council. He also serves on several other professional and not-for-profit boards including the Ad Council, International Radio & Television Society (IRTS), Advertising Week Advisory Council, Paley Center of Media, and is the co-chair of MOUSE/CI.