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Publicis Commerce head Ken Mandel leaves to focus on own company Jam Ventures

The founding boss of Publicis Media Asia-Pacific’s e-commerce division has left the company to focus on his investment business.

Ken Mandel, who founded Publicis Commerce last January, plans to immediately focus on his enterprise Jam Ventures before starting an undisclosed new gig in the near future.

The division’s head of product and client development, Navaneeta Das, has assumed leadership in the wake of his departure.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Mandel said: “I absolutely enjoyed my time at Publicis. I started a new business from scratch that’s focused on a new area, but at some stage there comes a time to move on.”

Elaborating on what the future holds for him, he said: “In 2011, after leaving Yahoo!, I started Jam Ventures, which is an investment vehicle for start-ups and companies.

“While working for Publicis, I could not be directly involved with it, but now seven or eight of the companies are coming to fruition, so I’m needed to help them. That’s going to be exciting, but in the long-term I am looking at something else.”

Launched in partnership with Interactive Solutions last year, Publicis Commerce was set up to boost the media house’s e-commerce iservices by combining the media planning and buying with retail analytics.

Before his appointment as president of innovation and commerce, Canadian-born Mandel held the role of Starcom’s president of global network solutions APAC since November 2015.

He has previously worked for Hootsuite, Salesforce, Yahoo! and Ogilvy across the region.

Publicis Media chief executive officer Gerry Boyle said: “After founding the Commerce practice in 2016, Ken has made the difficult decision to pursue new opportunities in a related industry. He will be taking a short break to work on some personal venture projects and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours.”

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