Alex Hesz has u-turned on his proposed move to Dentsu, where he was due to take up the role of global chief strategy officer, and will instead go back to Omnicom as EVP chief strategy officer.
Before he announced the Dentsu move in December 2021, Hesz had been global CSO of Omnicom’s DDB network, having moved up the ranks after joining an independent adam&eveDDB ten years earlier. He left DDB in May and was due to start at Dentsu in a few weeks.
The news comes after a shift in strategy at both holding companies. Dentsu is restructuring to bring its Japanese and international operations together, while Omnicom is focusing more on holding company leadership – opening up a global strategy role for Hesz – while maintaining its key agency brands: DDB, BBDO, TBWA, PHD, and OMD.
As part of Dentsu’s restructure, global CEO Wendy Clark lost her role. A former DDB Worldwide CEO, the charismatic Clark had been instrumental in bringing in a lot of talent to the Japanese group.
Hesz made a pointed statement: “I made the decision to join Dentsu International, the business strategy, geography and leadership were key parts of my decision. In the intervening time, all three fundamentally changed, and though my role at the newly combined Dentsu would doubtless have been an exciting one, it was not one that fit with my perspective on the industry’s direction, as well as my personal and family life.”
Omnicom has brought in other new leadership roles at holding company level, putting succession management in place as well as shoring up its holding company credentials in line with its rivals. Daryl Simm was promoted to COO a year ago, Andrea Lennon was promoted to chief client officer, and Kathleen Saxton was recruited as chief marketing officer.