Today Cadreon, IPG Mediabrands’ ad-tech specialist unit, announced the promotion of its first female global CEO. Erica Schmidt takes on the role after previously serving as executive vice president and managing director of the shop’s North America division.
“I feel tremendously proud, first and foremost,” Schmidt told Adweek.
“Now more than ever as an industry we need to embrace the necessary change that’s happening,” Schmidt continued, speaking about the significance of her appointment amid the rising #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in advertising and tech.
In a statement, Schmidt added, “It’s a privilege to build a culture in advertising technology where women can thrive.”
Schmidt herself was one of 180 female leaders to sign the Time’s Up Advertising initiative, an official “vertical” designed to discuss and address the industry’s pervasive problems with sexual harassment and gender inequality. Time’s Up Advertising launched earlier this week with several initial goals, including to fix agency policies “that have failed us.”
Schmidt takes on the global CEO role from Arun Kumar, who previously had been both that and global chief data and marketing technology officer for IPG Mediabrands. He will remain in the latter position. Schmidt will report to Kumar, and together they will continue “scaling IPG’s data and technology infrastructure,” according to Cadreon’s announcement.
“Erica is a versatile leader who is perfectly positioned to drive Cadreon into the future,” Kumar said in a statement. “Over the last three years, we have partnered on diversifying Cadreon’s strategic capabilities and value proposition. I am thrilled for her to continue this endeavor on a global scale.”
As global CEO, Schmidt will be focused on leveraging IPG’s programmatic offering worldwide. While serving in her previous position, Cadreon said Schmidt oversaw the team that developed its “best-in-class product suite,” which includes proprietary tools spanning tech, analytics and strategy.
Since joining Cadreon three years ago, Schmidt said the agency “weathered the [industry] shift around ad-tech and programmatic” in North America, driving transparency and standing out as clients’ demands evolved and increased, and now plans to strengthen that position globally.
“We want to make sure we continue to weather the storm and push the industry forward across the ecosystem,” Schmidt noted.
She added, there is a “storm that’s still looming over the industry” regarding how agencies guarantee brand safety for their clients. Clients are still concerned that, with programmatic buying, their ads may end up appearing next to content that could be hurtful to their brands.
Schmidt said Cadreon holds itself to “high standards” to ensure it is delivering visibility for all IPG Mediabrand clients. Cadreon is headquartered in San Francisco and works to develop programmatic tech solutions for all IPG Mediabrands-owned entities including UM, Initiative and Reprise.