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Wavemaker names Gabriela Vargas as LATAM CEO

Wavemaker announced today that it has appointed Gabriela Vargas as CEO in Latin America (LATAM). Based in Mexico City and reporting to Wavemaker Global CEO Toby Jenner and GroupM LATAM CEO Cesar Recalde, Vargas joins the media agency from Publicis’ Starcom.

As LATAM CEO, Vargas will drive the strategy and execution of how Wavemaker positively provokes growth for their clients and people around the region. Vargas will join the Wavemaker Global Executive Team, as well as the GroupM LATAM Leadership Team ExCo, and collaborate closely with GroupM and WPP leaders across the region to connect the breadth and depth of the group’s capabilities to drive growth for Wavemaker’s clients.

Widely known as one of the region’s highest performing trailblazers and as the CEO who most recently cemented Starcom’s position as the most successful agency in Mexico, Vargas has 25 years of experience in the industry. She has an extensive understanding of media and advertising after an integrated career on the client side (P&G), within agencies (Leo Burnett, Initiative, Carat and latest at Publicis’ Starcom) and has even done a stint at a media partner (Clear Channel).

Her first advertising role was with Leo Burnett, working with global clients and participating in the consolidation of several new businesses. She’s since held various management positions in agencies, gaining experience in different sectors and categories, such as pharma, technology, entertainment, banking, automotive, drinks and food.

In 2020 Vargas was recognised as an Ad Age and Ad Latina Woman to Watch for her significant accomplishments in the ad and marketing industry and made the list of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico. She has participated in forums like UNWoman / Unstereotype Alliance, which works on gender equality to eradicate harmful stereotypes in media and advertising; an active advocate for female empowerment; and, with her team, has worked on a variety of projects to make a positive difference for troubled communities in Mexico City.

Toby Jenner, Global CEO at Wavemaker said, I met Gabriela when I visited Mexico City in August and was immediately impressed by her pioneering spirit. She’s a natural provocateur. Gabriela is smart and driven with huge integrity. She works with enthusiasm and passion with her management team to develop client brands.

Gabriela will make a massive difference to our clients and our people across the region, making us incredibly well-positioned for continued success. I’m so thrilled she’s joining the team.”

Cesar Recalde, LATAM CEO at GroupM said, “I’m delighted Gabriela is joining us, and I’m sure she is the right kind of leader to drive growth for our clients in the region – and, as importantly, for our people too.”

Gabriela Vargas said, “I’m looking forward to building on Wavemaker’s success to date in LATAM and use my experience to drive meaningful growth for the media agency, it’s clients and our people in the region. I’m truly excited to join the many familiar faces at Wavemaker, and I’ve been impressed by its strong culture of positive provocation.”

Vargas will take up the role effective immediately.

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