Long time DAN execs Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra exit

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 28 August 2019
Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra

Long-standing Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) executives Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra have exited the business as the holding group undergoes its latest round of redundancies.

Swifte had been leading DAN government solutions division, which was launched last year to service its federal, state and local government clients nationally.

The division was launched with the intention of generating and servicing opportunities outside the scope of Master Agency Media Services (MAMS) agreements, of which Dentsu X lost last year to IPG Mediabrands agency UM. 

AdNews understands the future of the government solutions division is under review. At the time of its launch, many in the industry questioned the decision considering the loss of the network's major piece of government business.

Swifte had been one of the longest serving executives at DAN, with over 20 years with the holding group. During his time, he held roles such as Victorian investment director, national trading and investment director for then Dentsu Mitchell and head of investment for Dentsu X.

Khabra had been with the business since 2014, leading programmatic buying and media solutions business Amnet as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to his role as MD, Khabra also held roles at Amnet including general manager and client relationship director.

He moved to Australia as global GM of an independent trading desk managing remote offices in San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Singapore and Sydney before moving to agency land.

A DAN spokesperson has confirmed the departures to AdNews.

Sources state Swifte and Khabra are part of a larger range of redundancies which is believed to have impacted 15-20 employees.

This latest round of redundancies follows the news from earlier this month that Amplifi head of programmatic Luke Manley had also been made redundant as the restructuring of Amplifi continues.

Earlier this year it was revealed Amplifi's media and investment teams would be reintegrated back into DAN's core media agency brands; Carat, Vizeum and Dentsu X.

However, the process will not see the end of the Amplifi name in Australia, with DAN previously confirming that it has plans to keep the division going, appointing former Network Ten executive Michael Bass to the role of chief investment officer.

Bass will replace outgoing CIO Ashley Earnshaw, who was promoted to the role of CEO for Vizeum.

DAN continues to restructure under the leadership of CEO Henry Tajer. Swifte and Kharab join the growing list of DAN executives to depart the holding group, including Carat national MD Simon James-WilliamsAmplifi's Alex Pekish and Adrian Roeling, iProspect national managing director Nick Seckold and Andrew Hewett.

While not associated with the recent redundancies, DAN CFO Anthea Kane and Isobar CEO Konrad Spilva have also departed the business in recent months. Most recently, DAN promoted Erik Hallander to CEO of Isobar Australia.

It has been a difficult year for the holding group's media division, losing major accounts including Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahi Beverages, the AFL and The Good Guys.

Over the last six months, AdNews estimates DAN's media division has lost close to $275 million in billings.

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