M&C Saatchi chairman Tom Dery retires

By Paige Murphy | 16 May 2019

M&C Saatchi chairman Tom Dery is retiring after 24 years with the agency group, helping found its operations within the Asia Pacific.

He exited his role as managing director at DDB Melbourne in 1995 to help establish the M&C Saatchi startup in the Australian market.

Dery was enlisted to help the founders of the agency David Kershaw, Bill Muirhead, Charles and Maurice Saatchi and Jeremy Sinclair, establish an Australian office to service the British Airways and Qantas accounts.

After helping to launch the Australian arm of the business, Dery started new offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi, New Zealand and Los Angeles.

"My focus in recent years has been to assist in and guide succession in the Australian operation. This is the ideal time for me to retire given the terrific management team in place under the leadership of Jaimes Leggett and the consistent growth the agency continues to enjoy," Dery says.

In 2008, he was appointed worldwide chairman, working in the role for nine years alongside CEO Moray MacLennan and in 2016 became chairman of M&C Saatchi Australia.

"Tom is a legend. Twenty-four years ago, he had the guts to join this fledgling start-up and the imagination to keep it growing," M&C Saatchi Australia Group CEO Jaimes Leggett says.

"He established the foundations of M&C Saatchi Australia so that it could become the formidable force it is today. On behalf of the team, I thank him for his support, guidance and mentorship over the years. We’re excited by the next stage of our journey as we continue to stand on the shoulders of giants."

M&C Saatchi Worldwide Group founding partner Bill Muirhead says Dery was a "great figurehead" for the business and its growth, particularly in Australia.

In 2018, Dery and fellow M&C Saatchi veteran Tom McFarlane were admitted to the AdNews Hall of Fame.

Dery’s retirement will start 30 June.

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