Dentsu Aegis Network hiring Wendy Clark as global CEO

Wendy Clark has resigned from DDB to become global CEO for London-based Dentsu Aegis Network starting in September.

The surprise move was announced in a release Monday morning. The high-profile Clark had been at DDB for four years, the last two as global president and CEO of DDB Worldwide. Prior to that she held top marketing posts at Coca Cola and AT&T.

Clark will report DAN executive chairman Tim Andree, who also held the CEO role for the last 15 months.

“Following a thorough and considered global search, I am happy to welcome Wendy as our new CEO and look forward to working together to drive our ambitious agenda forward,” Andree said in a statement. “With her combined experience of walking in the shoes of the client, coupled with her leadership in running a large global creative agency network, Wendy is the stand-out choice for the role.”

The change comes as DAN has moved aggressively to expand its offerings, acquiring more than 177 businesses in the last six years with a focus on data, performance marketing, customer experience, social and mobile. Agencies in Canada include DentsuBos, Grip Ltd. Vizeum, Aegis, Carat, Isobar, iProspect and MKTG.

“It’s both an incredible honour and deep responsibility to join DAN at this crucial time,” said Clark in the statement. “Given such unprecedented global change, it’s more important than ever that we’re completely focused on creating insightful, informed, important ideas for brands, businesses and their customers.

“The focused investments made by DAN over the last few years to acquire and grow the right assets, talent and capabilities, enabling modern marketing solutions, is undeniable and ready-made for today’s marketplace and beyond.”

“Wendy’s appointment as our new Global CEO strengthens DAN’s already world-class leadership team, bringing a critical balance of experience from the client side and global agency networks alike,” said Jeff Greenspoon, CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Canada.”Her expertise is complementary to our Canadian growth plans as we continue to build the most connected and integrated agency group in the country—one that leverages our all of our capabilities and talent to deliver more holistic brand solutions to our clients’ challenges.”

Omnicom Group said that DDB Worldwide chair Chuck Brymer would take on the CEO responsibilities while DDB looks for for Clark’s replacement. Brymer was previously CEO for 12 years.

“While Wendy’s timing is unfortunate as our people and clients are struggling with the fall-out of COVID-19, the network is in more than capable hands with Chuck leading the business.” said John Wren, chairman and CEO, Omnicom Group.

David Brown