Dentsu CEO shock exit, Simon Ryan steps up

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 February 2016
Nick Waters (L) and Simon Ryan

After nearly a decade at Dentsu Aegis Network Australia, CEO Luke Littlefield has left the business, AdNews can reveal. Simon Ryan, former CEO of Carat is set to step up and replace him.

Littlefield joined the then Aegis Media back in 2007 as COO when Harold Mitchell still ruled the roost, and took on the CEO role in 2011.The group was then bought by Dentsu in 2013. Littlefield was crowned Media Executive of the Year at the CEO Magazine Awards in November.

A statement from Dentsu said Littlefield had resigned from the group.

In March 2013, Dentsu acquired Aegis Group to form Dentsu Aegis Network globally and Littlefield was “instrumental” in integrating the business in ANZ, which followed the earlier integration of Aegis Media and the Mitchell Communication Group, a Dentsu statement said.

The business says following the integration of the businesses Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ now moves into a “new phase of development”.

Nick Waters CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific says: “Luke has done really well steering the group through two mergers over the last five years and I thank him for his contribution to the business.

“Simon has been a consistent stand-out performer over recent years, leading Carat with energy and dynamism to become the most successful media agency in Australia. He has earned this opportunity to lead the group in the next phase of our development and it is very encouraging to be able to promote such strong talent from within the group.”

Littlefield says he has had a “great journey” over the last eight years with Mitchell Communication Group, Aegis Media and most recently Dentsu Aegis Network, adding that “now feels like the right time to move on.

“It is good to leave the business in good shape and in good hands,” he added.

Multinational media and digital business Dentsu is parent company to the likes of Carat and Vizeum.

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