Wendy Clark bids upbeat Instagram farewell to Dentsu: many will be sorry to see her go

She may now be superfluous to requirements at Dentsu, but outgoing CEO Wendy Clark makes it clear in an Instagram post that her over-achievement at the network is what did for her.

In a lengthy post accompanied by a cute picture with Salty the dog, Clark sets out her impressive list of achievements over the last two years, saying that her performance has put the network “ahead of our mid-term management plan” which means “the time is right for Dentsu International to integrate into Dentsu Group.”

Clark lays out Dentsu’s business, creative and cultural successes, but it doesn’t mention another key achievement – bringing a talented team on board at Dentsu, most of whom were surely attracted by the prospect of working with Clark, and may be nervous about the changes to come as Dentsu is once again run from Japan.

FCB’s star Global CCO Fred Levron took on the same role at Dentsu last summer; Alex Hesz joined as Global CSO from DDB Worldwide at the start of this year, as did Global COO Nnenna Ilomechina, who moved from Accenture. In the UK people like former Engine CEO Ete Davies also came on board as COO for EMEA.

The post in full:

Against a pernicious global pandemic and an unjustified war, our team chose radical collaboration & instinctive generosity as the behaviors that would define and unite us.

By Q2 2021, we delivered 17% revenue growth, growing organic revenue for the first time in 9 quarters, and achieved 15% OPM for the first time in 6 quarters. For the 5 quarters since we’ve delivered sequential revenue growth and on-target margin delivery.

Importantly, we had our highest employee engagement score in the last 4 yrs; we’re the first agency network to be powered by renewal energy; we’re 1 of just 7 companies to have our Net Zero commitment validated by SBTi; Dentsu Creative Bengaluru were Cannes Agency of the Year, and much more.

Make no mistake, this is progress not perfection. While we lead in certain aspects of our strategy, we have work to do in others. But this performance is ahead of our mid term management plan and as such the time is right for Dentsu International to integrate into Dentsu Group, led by Hiroshi Igarashi and one management team. As the outgoing DI CEO, I will help with this transition through year-end.

I want to thank and recognize the best and chosen executive team — Rob Gilby, Alex Hesz, Peter Huijiboom, Nnenna Ilomechina, Jacki Kelley, Michael Komasinski, Fred Levron, Jean Lin, Anna Lungley, Giulio Malegori, Jeremy Miller, Masaya Nakamura, Nick Priday, Dominic Shine, Manus Wheeler, and Alison Zoellner. It has been my privilege to run up the mountain with all of you.

And a special shout out to Manus & Gianna, my chief of staff and EA, who never said anything other than “we got this.”

I will miss everyone at DI greatly as I genuinely love the company and all of you. But my soaring pride and confidence in everyone at Dentsu International could not be higher. I know first-hand the brilliant work & results you deliver for our clients. Your continued success is certain.

So, listen for me cheering loudly on the sidelines (no one’s ever accused me of being quiet). Onward! ???

 

 

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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.

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