Fresh round of exits at DAN – and name change to Dentsu reportedly imminent

There have been a fresh round of senior-level exits at the Dentsu Aegis Network’s Asia-Pacific operations. Among the people who are thought to have left, according to industry sources, are chief commercial officer for DAN Asia-Pacific Jacob Kvist, Vizeum APAC CEO Duncan Pointer, Dentsu chief strategy and innovation officer Arvind Sethumadhavan and Dentsu president of programmatic services Sonal Patel.

Kvist had moved to iProspect in 2017 from Mindshare where he was chief investment officer. Pointer had been with Carat and then with Vizeum for almost a decade. Sethumadhavan had joined Isobar in 2011 prior to the merger of Dentsu with Aegis. Patel moved to Dentsu Aegis Network from AppNexus in April last year.

When approached for a comment, a spokesperson for Dentsu Aegis Network said: “We are unable to comment further on these changes as it affects our people. As an organisation, we are unable to confirm the accuracy of rumour and speculation and it is not in the interest of our employees to do so.”

However, Mumbrella has learnt that one of the people named above had apparently resigned in a development unconnected to the cuts announced by the agency to its Singapore operations last week

Another senior staffer, who left recently, was supposed to be part of the cuts that the network had initiated in January.  

Mumbrella understands that when it comes to senior roles, no termination agreements have been signed as yet and there are ongoing conversations with many key personnel. 

Several of the personnel named who were approached by Mumbrella, were unavailable for comment. 

Industry sources have told Mumbrella that the changes are likely to affect the China and Australia operations of DAN, as well as digital specialist unit iProspect.

The changes so far have seen an especially sharp fall in the number of senior personnel from an Aegis background.

Additionally, the Aegis name is not expected to survive for much longer. Dentsu CEO Tim Andree has made it clear in media interviews that the next phase of the company will be ‘One Dentsu’ which has been widely interpreted as signalling a change in the name.

Even as the cuts and exits played out in the region, DAN recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Indian data and analytics firm Ugam. It was said to be “one of the largest transactions in Merkle’s history“.


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