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Michael Komasinski appointed as global CEO, Merkle

He succeeds Craig Dempster who announced his retirement after 15 years.

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Mumbai: dentsu International has announced that Michael Komasinski is to be promoted to the role of global chief executive officer of Merkle, and a member of the dentsu international executive team. He replaces Craig Dempster who has been a member of the Merkle executive leadership team for nearly 15 years and joined dentsu during Merkle’s acquisition in 2016. Craig will retire from the business at the end of the year.

Komasinski will commence his role as global CEO Merkle on 1 January and will join the dentsu International executive team, reporting to Wendy Clark. The new president, Merkle Americas will be announced in due course, the agency stated. 

“Michael’s track record speaks for itself. He inspires and leads teams in developing impactful, data-driven, and tech-enabled customer experiences while building lasting and values-based relationships with clients," said dentsu International global CEO Wendy Clark. "He shares our collective ambition to become the most integrated agency network, delivering integrated solutions to drive growth for our clients across creative, media, and CXM. I know Michael is ready to progress this agenda at the helm of Merkle and will be a key leader for dentsu as we further accelerate our growth and momentum.”

“Craig has been instrumental in growing the Merkle business over the past 15 years. He leaves the brand in great shape with a strong client portfolio, a solid leadership team and a business that is much more integrated into dentsu. It has been a privilege to work with Craig as part of my executive team," Clark added.

As global CEO, Dempster has played an integral role in driving Merkle’s culture, growth and profitability, and in building Merkle’s relationships with flagship brands such as AT&T, GEICO, Citizens, and AARP. He has also been a key leader on the dentsu international executive team. “I am immensely proud of what we as a brand have achieved over these past 15 years. Merkle’s growth and offering under dentsu is world class. Putting data at the heart of everything we do at dentsu is transforming our offer and ultimately providing our clients with a seamless and integrated experience to deliver outstanding growth. I celebrate and thank our people in helping to build one of the most innovative businesses in the world," Dempster said.

Komasinski is a natural successor to the role and brings a wealth of experience having led Merkle across two of dentsu’s three regions, the agency said. Joining Merkle seven years ago as chief operating officer of Agency Services, he went on to become president of Merkle’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA), leading a business of over $400 million in net revenue. During his four years within the EMEA business, it experienced five times growth.

“Bringing together our combined strengths with dentsu makes us truly market-leading, demonstrating to our clients the breadth of capability we offer to deliver integrated marketing solutions and business outcomes," stated Komasinski. "Talent is the lifeblood of brands like Merkle and it is a key focus in the pandemic era as the labor market tightens and we pivot to hybrid ways of working. As in the past, we are focused on making Merkle and dentsu the employer of choice where the best talent in the industry wants to come develop and thrive.”  

He currently serves as president of Merkle/CXM, Americas, and leader of the dentsu Customer Experience Management (CXM) Service Line in the Americas, overseeing all aspects of Merkle’s Americas regional operation.

Komasinski’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for dentsu as the business moves closer to its ambition of becoming the most integrated agency network in the world, that’s data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led. Powered by Merkle, dentsu is focused on delivering growth for clients through its integrated human-centric solutions, said the agency in a statement.

Merkle is one of dentsu’s six leadership brands, and was a game-changing acquisition, that’s proved a worthy investment as it remains the market leader in people-based customer experience and a strong growth engine for dentsu. Earlier this year, the brand’s industry leadership was further reinforced with the acquisition of LiveArea, bolstering Merkle’s global experience and commerce capabilities, and further positioning the business as a go-to experience partner for businesses around the world.

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