Danny Bass is officially back in the game and has taken up his post as CEO of IPG Mediabrands after six long months out following his exit from GroupM.
Bass, who was formerly chief investment officer at GroupM, was appointed CEO of IPG Mediabrands in May to replace Henry Tajer. At the time, Tajer said: “Danny in our view is the CEO of the future agency.”
Bass's move to a rival agency network prompted a heavily guarded period of notice and gardening leave for Bass. It has seen him out of the business for more than six months.
The timing of the exit was particularly tricky for GroupM considering it was in the midst of the TV negotiation period – which Bass was leading.
He had been tipped to take over as CEO of GroupM replacing John Steadman, and his unexpected departure set in motion a chain reaction of people moves at GroupM and across the industry. Seb Rennie, previously investment officer at MEC was promoted to replace Bass as groupwide chief investment role.
GroupM is still without a group CEO in place, but after a lengthy recruitment process to get the right person, is expected to make an announcement before the end of the year.
Tajer has also plucked a raft of top talent from the Australian market for US roles.
His wasn't the only extended period of gardening leave currently being enjoyed by senior execs across the market. Mark Pejic, former CEO of MediaCom also left GroupM to join IPG Mediabrands in Melbourne. He is still on leave. He has been replaced by Sean Seamer, who joins from GroupM in New Zealand.
Matt James is soon to officially join ZenithOptimedia as CEO replacing Ian Perrin, following a period of gardening leave after his departure from Nine Entertainment.
Mat Baxter's long awaited departure for New York and the surprise appointment of ex-Soap MD Ross Raeburn as his replacement at the helm of UM.
Starcom has a new MD in Toby Barbour, following the departure of Annick Perrin, who is joining Macquarie Radio Network.
Omnicom Media Group, led by Leigh Terry, is the only major network with consistent leadership in place over a number of years. Mark Coad continues to lead PHD while Peter Horgan continues to run OMD. Havas' Mike Wilson has also been in place for two and a half years since the agency launched in Australia.
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