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Dentsu X parts ways with four senior managers following global rebrand

Dentsu Aegis Network has parted ways with a number of senior figures from its recently rebranded agency dentsu X as part of a leadership restructure.

The agency is understood to have quietly let go its head of creative Mike Middleton after Dentsu Mobius and Dentsu media were merged to form the new entity. The group’s head of business Roger Mulchandani has also recently left the company.

Roger Mulchandani

Both Mulchandani and Middleton joined the digital creative and media agency Dentsu Mobius just over two years.

Mike Middleton

Middleton, who has also worked as the executive creative director for Grey Shopper and as creative director for Ogilvy in Hong Kong, was part of the team responsible for Singapore Life’s new ‘live birth’ campaign.

Rebranded under the new slogan ‘Experience Beyond Exposure’, dentsu X was set up to “combine communication, media planning, content creation, technology, data and behavioural insights” the group said in a statement at the time. However, sources with knowledge of the situation have claimed the new entity has already signalled a shift away from a creatively-led strategy in favour of a media-driven approach.

Meanwhile, dentsu X’s director of content business development Kentaro Kato is also understood to have parted ways with the agency. The Singapore network’s recently-appointed head of strategy Matt Lanning has also exited to work as a freelance strategy director in Los Angeles.

Prior to the rebrand, Dentsu Mobius’ general manager Margery Lynn also departed the agency to join its client Uber as head of content strategy for Asia Pacific.

Three months later, the agency’s managing director of six years, James Hawkins, was handed the title of MD for dentsu X APAC.

Dentsu X Singapore general manager Phil Adrien confirmed the departures, saying: “Following the rebrand, dentsu X is embarking on its next phase of growth here in Singapore, so we identified a need for change to further strengthen our leadership. We will be sharing the new structure of the leadership team in due course.”

The news coincides with Dentsu Aegis Network’s recent office move, which sees all its Singapore-based brands moved under one roof in Tanjong Pagar.

Marking a shift towards the group’s “agile working” philosophy, the new hot-desk layout is designed to fit just 80 per cent of the company’s workforce under the assumption that not all will be in the office at the same time due to meetings and travel.

The Singapore reshuffle comes at a troubled time for the group as whole, following the outcry over Dentsu Japan’s US$4,400 fine for the suicide of employee Matsuri Takahashi in 2015. The Japanese government ruled she died of “karoshi” – literally “death by overwork”.

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