Stef Calcraft steps down as Dentsu Aegis UK chief, Nick Waters to succeed

Stef Calcraft is leaving Dentsu Aegis with immediate effect

Dentsu Aegis’ executive chairman for the UK and Ireland, Stef Calcraft, is to leave the agency group less than a year after he joined.

Calcraft took on the job, which was newly-created, in January of this year, effectively taking over from former chief executive Tracy De Groose.

The company has confirmed that he will be succeeded by Nick Waters, who is currently chief executive of Asia Pacific.

Giulio Malegori, Dentsu Aegis chief executive EMEA said: “We thank Stef for his contribution – he leaves the UK business on a strong footing, with a dynamic new leadership team in place.

“Nick has a strong track record of successfully leading a complex, diverse region for Dentsu Aegis Network and will help to set up the UK business for the future providing continuity for our clients, our people and the business, by assuming the executive chairman role.”

As the co-founder of the independent agency Mother, when Calcraft joined the advertising conglomerate he was not seen as the obvious choice. Despite having limited experience in media agencies, he was brought in to run the 4,000 strong UK and Ireland operation, that included 360i,Carat and iProspect.

His arrival in January was said to herald another step in Dentsu's drive to become a fully digital business by 2020. When he joined, he was tasked with mobilizing talent across creativity, media, digital, data and content to leverage further growth.

Waters will now pick up the UK reigns, after a five-year term serving as Dentsu Aegis APAC's chief executive. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Aegis Media APAC for almost four years, after leaving Mindshare, where he held the role of chief executive EMEA.

The management shake-up comes in the wake of a number of senior departures for the advertising network.

Last month (November), it was reported that Dentsu Aegis Network's chief executive Jerry Buhlmann was to step down after nine years in the role. In October, 360i's chief James Townsend also left the agency to join Forward3D.

The network then revealed a new UK leadership team for the UK and Ireland, which included three promotions and two new appointments.

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