Dentsu Aegis Network’s CEO Jerry Buhlmann to step down after nine years

Jerry Buhlmann will step down as CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network on 31 December and be replaced by Tim Andree, who will occupy the role from 2019 onwards, along with his executive chairman responsibilities.

Buhlmann was promoted to CEO of the Aegis Group in March 2010 after heading up its media-buying division Aegis Media, which includes agencies such as Carat, Dentsu X and Vizeum.

Buhlmann was appointed CEO in 2010

In 2012 the Japanese-owned Dentsu announced its intentions to purchase Aegis and the transaction was completed in 2013.

The Dentsu Aegis Network was then established in 2014, made up of all Aegis businesses and Denstu-owned companies outside Japan.

When Buhlmann was appointed CEO in 2010, the group said the economic climate necessitated it look beyond simply winning and retaining business, and announced it would be seeking acquisitions.

“Although the winning and retaining of clients is at the core of our business, we are conscious that in the volatile economic climate we have endured in 2009 that is continuing into 2010, there is a risk that our clients’ investment in advertising and research will decrease, which would have an impact on our revenues,” chairman John Napier said at the time.

Reflecting back on Buhlmann’s tenure, Toshihiro Yamamoto, representative director, president and CEO of Dentsu, said the DAN CEO had succeeded in growing the group.

“From the start, Jerry has had a bold vision for Dentsu Aegis Network,” he said in a statement. “His drive and leadership has ensured that Dentsu’s acquisition of Aegis Group plc has been an outstanding success.

“Dentsu Aegis Netork is today a highly-integrated and highly-competitive global marketing services group built for the digital economy. Since 2013, Dentsu Aegis Network has doubled its revenues from £1.8bn to £3.6bn and grown organically at twice the rate of its competitors.

“The Dentsu board thanks Jerry for this great contribution and leadership.”

Buhlmann said the great joy of leading DAN had been the ability to work with talented people within a supportive parent company.

“Importantly, at this time, the quality of the executive management team is exceptional, the business has strong momentum and I’m confident will continue to thrive and grow strongly at a time of disruptive change in the market,” he said.

After Buhlmann steps down, executive chairman Andree will take on the CEO responsibilities as well.

A statement from the company said under Andree DAN would continue to “pursue sustainable growth while maintaining strong momentum and stability”.

Yamamoto said Andree already had a deep understanding of the business.

“I am delighted to appoint Tim as Jerry’s successor,” Yamamoto said. “Ever since joining Denstu in 2006, Tim has led the globalisation of the Dentsu Group. As a member of the Dentsu Inc board and also the executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, Tim has a deep understanding of the business’ market proposition, culture and values.”

Andree said the group would now move to its next stage with continuity and stability.

“The remarkable growth and momentum of Dentsu Aegis Network is a credit to Jerry and the deep and broadly talented management team that has been cultivated,” he said. “I have worked hand in hand with Jerry and the management team over the years and for this reason, the Dentsu Aegis Network management will move to the next stage with strong continuity and stability.

“We will continue to evolve as the most collaborative of networks known for its creativity, client focus and innovation.”

Buhlmann will continue to work with Dentsu as a special adviser from 1 January next year.

Other global holding groups have also had changes at the top, with WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell quitting in April, just days after the group’s board had instigated an investigation into an allegation of “personal misconduct”.

In September, WPP’s chief operating officer Mark Read was confirmed as Sorrell’s replacement.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing