Dentsu Aegis Network announces reorganisation in Singapore and a layoff of 2% of its workforce

Dentsu Aegis Network APAC headquarters in Singapore / Aaron Poon

Dentsu Aegis Network has announced it is restructuring its Singapore operations, which will see it layoff around 2% of its workforce.

In a media call on Monday evening (January 21), Nick Waters, the outgoing chief executive officer of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific and Phil Teeman, the chief executive officer of Dentsu Aegis Network Singapore and South East Asia, revealed that the Singapore office will be broken into three components.

The first component will be called Brand Solutions and will consist of its media and performance agencies like Carat, Vizeum, Dentsu X and iProspect. It will be headed by Joanna Catalano, the current chief executive officer for APAC at iProspect.

The second component will be called One Singapore Media Group and will consist of the likes of Carat, Dentsu X, iProspect and Vizeum. It will be headed by Jonathan Chadwick, the current chief executive officer for APAC at Carat.

The final component will be an ‘internal virtual team’, which will draw resources from agencies around the network.

While he declined to reveal the exact number of staff that will lose jobs because of the reorganisation and would only say the figure stands at 2%, Waters said that these staff will have appropriate exit packages and the network will be assisting them wherever possible in these difficult times.

Both Waters and Teeman explained that Dentsu Aegis undertook this decision in response to clients moving from a global to a local business model and bring its 'natural capabilities' together for clients in a faster, more agile and flexible way.

“Last year in Singapore we initiated a transformation programme to support our business now and for the future. We took steps to bring together regional and local market teams based in Singapore, and this week we are taking another step towards creating a business that is built around our clients’ changing needs,” explained Waters.

“Working groups have been formed over the past six months to look at how we organize ourselves at Dentsu Aegis Network. This week we will take steps to create an effective structure that supports changing client needs to further activate our operating model of one P+L per market and give us the ability to build up our offering in the faster moving areas of the business. These changes are purposefully put in place before my move to lead the business in the UK and Ireland to complete the work done over the past six months and set the region up for future success.”

The move by Dentsu Aegis comes as its Japanese parent Dentsu Inc. is preparing to restructure to make itself fit for ‘an evolving market and changing client needs’ by 2020. First announced by Dentsu's chief executive Toshihiro Yamamoto in the ad giant’s half-year earnings call in August 2018, the company confirmed the move in December 2018, subject to approval from authorities and its shareholders.

Dentsu Inc. is set to consider a new company name and structure in the lead-up to its annual meeting of shareholders in March.

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