New managing director, new strategic direction for GfK Australia & New Zealand

Catherine Eddy has this month taken over as the managing director of GfK Australia & New Zealand. In a unique appointment, Eddy is taking over from two managing directors, who previously oversaw separate divisions that will be now under the same leadership.

Heretofore, Gary Lamb was the managing director of GfK Consumer Choices and Juergen Merz was the managing director of GfK Consumer Experiences. Eddy will be responsible for leading both these divisions in a move the German research firm says “strengthens GfK’s global strategy of integrating and aligning its sectors”.

GfK is the preeminent researcher and analyst of consumer electronics sales, both in Australia and worldwide. In addition to this, GfK conducts surveys to find out why consumers purchased certain products and the company also retains the contract to measure official radio ratings.

“I am thrilled at this opportunity and I am certain that my career and experience to date puts me in an excellent position to lead GfK’s Australian and New Zealand business in its next chapter of growth, building on the significant achievements under the leadership of Gary and Juergen,” Eddy said.

Eddy is a highly experienced research professional who spent 11 years as a Senior Research Associate at the University of South Australia, before a 2-year stint at Colmar Brunton. From here, Eddy moved to Nielsen in 2005, where she was an executive director of the company’s Indonesia and Vietnam offices. In 2010, Eddy was appointed managing director of the Nielsen Company in Indonesia, a post she held until June 2014. Her management style is described as being open and collaborative, with a focus on implementing strategies and actioning go-to-market plans. Sources say she is very KPI-driven and a “straight shooter”.

Incidentally, Nielsen was the company that held the Australian radio ratings contract before GfK won the rights off them in February 2013.

Lamb, a 15-year veteran of GfK Australia and a widely respected figure in the industry, is staying on as an executive director and will provide strategic support for GfK local and regional businesses in a part-time capacity. This will no doubt give him time to loudly cheer on his beloved Newcastle United Football Club.

Merz is staying on until his secondment ends in April 2015, at which point he will move to a new role with GfK outside Australia.

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