Merkle appoints new CEO just one week after Dentsu buyout

Only a week after Dentsu Aegis Network finalised its buyout of Merkle, a new CEO has been appointed to run the global performance marketing agency.

The change is not radical, probably because Dentsu likes Merkle the way it is. New CEO Craig Dempster has been with the company since 2006, most recently as president of Merkle Americas. His predecessor, David Williams, was chairman and CEO of Merkle for 32 years, and will retain the chairman role, as well as becoming CEO Global CRM Group for Dentsu Aegis Network.

Dempster is in charge of Merkle’s 9,600 employees in 13 countries. He says: “For the past 14 years, I have been proud to be a part of a company that is constantly pushing the boundaries of data-driven performance marketing. And Dentsu is pushing its own boundaries, opening strong growth opportunities as we bring together our combined strengths.”

Dentsu acquired two thirds of Merkle in 2016, and last week brought forward its acquisition of the remaining shares from 2021. The move means a $100m windfall for staff at Merkle, with a further $60m to come.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.