Dentsu restructure, Danny Bass out

By AdNews | 23 April 2024
Credit: Manki Kim via Unsplash

Dentsu ANZ has revealed a long foreshadowed restructure.

The Japan-based global agency calls the move a "new and simplified model" to create growth for clients.​ 

As part of the changes, dentsu Media CEO Danny Bass and Merkle chief executive Steve Yurisich are leaving.  

The latest round of cuts sees another 50 roles go from the local organisation, according to industry insiders. Adding to the slow redundancies since late last year, up to 100 jobs have disappeared. 

Dentsu in February said it was going to rebuild its core business in Australia, following more negative growth numbers.

Costs are a focus, with a review of the overall structure to “reduce costs and improve the efficiency” of business operations.

“Our clients are experiencing increasing pressure to evolve at speed," Dentsu ANZ chief executive officer Patricio De Matteis said today. 

"We need to help them deliver at the pace they need and the consumer expects. Importantly with a solution and product that delivers growth now and for the next.​ "

The new model will allow dentsu to operate across two connected areas of experience: Client Counsel & Commercial, and Product + Practices, with two new leadership roles created. 

Fiona Johnston (who was hired as chief client officer by Bass in 2022) will assume the new role of leadership for the client and commercial area.

Kirsty Muddle, CEO of Dentsu Creative, will take up a new leadership of all product and practices across both Australia and NZ.  

Rob Harvey will remain as CEO of NZ.

The three continue to report to De Matteis.  

The Dentsu Creative, iProspect, Carat, dentsuX, SMG , Cox Inall Ridgeway, TAG and Merkle brands will remain active. 

De Matteis spoke about the departure of Bass and Yurisich.

Danny Bass had fulfilled a huge role over the past 18 months helping firm up dentsu’s media business, bringing in senior key talent to lift its capability, deepen key client relationships and strengthen dentsu’s media and Mutinex partnerships, he said.

Steve Yurisich played a pivotal role in helping reposition the Merkle business as a strategic partner for clients with the right capabilities, expertise, and agility to drive large scale transformations. 

“This is no reflection of the capabilities, relationships, and leadership Danny or Steve have brought into our business. We are grateful for their huge contribution and support in helping us shape what a winning future state model for dentsu looks like, and to help us set a strong platform for  growth of our media and Merkle brands,” said De Matteis.  

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