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Wendy Clark appointed as DAN global CEO

This pivotal appointment is geared towards DAN’s data-driven, tech-enabled approach

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MUMBAI: Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), headquartered in London, has announced the appointment of Wendy Clark as global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network. This pivotal hire follows a transformational period focused on growth and scaling the business globally and builds on DAN’s objective to deliver world-class marketing services and integrated solutions that are data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led.

Wendy brings almost 30 years of industry experience as a delivery-focused leader, having worked for global brands such as The Coca-Cola Company and AT&T, as well as industry-leading agency roles. She joined DAN in September 2020 from Omnicom Group where she held the role of global president & CEO for DDB Worldwide. Prior to Omnicom, Clark spent seven years at The Coca-Cola Company in global and regional operating roles, culminating in her promotion to Coca-Cola's president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing.

Clark commented, “It’s both an incredible honour and deep responsibility to join DAN at this crucial time. Given such unprecedented global change, it’s more important than ever that we’re completely focused on creating insightful, informed, important ideas for brands, businesses and their customers. The focused investments made by DAN over the last few years to acquire and grow the right assets, talent, and capabilities, enabling modern marketing solutions, is undeniable and ready-made for today’s marketplace and beyond.

“It is hugely compelling to me to help continue Dentsu’s rich legacy of constant innovation and industry leadership over the last 100 years. I’ve had the privilege of working for brands and companies with powerful heritages and that’s informed my enduring belief that great brands and companies benefit from having a foot in their past and a foot in their future. It’s a massive competitive advantage that Dentsu has decades of know-how and experience that serve both as a foundation and a built-in benchmark to continue to drive the company forward. I genuinely can’t wait to meet the 42,000+ associates of DAN later in the year – when the world emerges from this significant period of change and turbulence - so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work creating value and impact for our clients, together.”

Clark is recognised for her modern leadership approach that includes her celebrated philosophy ‘lift as you climb’ translating to taking talent with you as you grow. It is this inspirational style that has been widely acknowledged by the industry including having been named Ad Age Executive of the Year (2017).

Clark will report to Dentsu Aegis Network EC Tim Andree and will be appointed executive officer Dentsu Group Inc at the same time as she joins the business in September with the approval of the board of Dentsu Group Inc. Andree has been executive chairman of DAN since its founding in 2013, adding the CEO role to his responsibilities for the past 15 months and he has led the search process.

Andree said, “Following a thorough and considered global search, I am happy to welcome Wendy as our new CEO and look forward to working together to drive our ambitious agenda forward. With her combined experience of walking in the shoes of the client, coupled with her leadership in running a large global creative agency network, Wendy is the stand-out choice for the role.

“Her experience is hugely complementary to DAN’s growth plans over the coming decade where Dentsu’s long-standing history of client-centricity combined with an ability to deliver fully integrated solutions will be critical. Wendy will join us as the world is emerging from a period of unprecedented challenges. I am confident that her strong leadership style and comprehensive experience will inspire our people, connect with our clients to help drive their brands forward and continue our focus on providing integrated global solutions while building excellence into every part of the rapidly changing marketing ecosystem we serve.” 

Purpose-built for the digital age, Dentsu Aegis has focused on acquiring relevant, high-performance businesses globally in high-growth areas including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing and social & mobile. As the most acquisitive agency group, Dentsu Aegis Network has welcomed over 177 acquisitions in the last six years, most notably, the Merkle acquisition placing DAN as the market leader for data, analytics and CRM.

Dentsu Group Inc president and CEO Toshi Yamamoto added, “This is a key time for our business as we bring Dentsu Aegis Network and Dentsu Japan Network closer together for the benefit of clients and our people. Our philosophy is that innovation can come from anyone, anywhere, and it is clear Wendy shares our passion for discovering new and better ways to solve client challenges and will be motivating and inspiring for our global workforce. Her blend of global marketing experiences makes her the ideal leader for the role and importantly will allow her to marshal our world-class capabilities to align with changing client needs.”

Andree has been on a health-related leave of absence since January. He returned to his role as director of Dentsu Group Inc last month and will return to his other roles at Dentsu and DAN in a phased approach. During this period, Yamamoto continues as executive chairman & CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, in addition to his role as president & CEO Dentsu Group Inc.

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