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Wendy Clark exits DDB for global CEO job at Dentsu Aegis Network

Wendy Clark joined DDB in 2016 / DDB

Wendy Clark, president and chief executive of DDB Worldwide, has resigned from the Omnicom company to become global chief executive of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN).

Clark will join DAN in September. Reporting into the network’s executive chairman, Tim Andree, she will also be appointed as executive officer of Dentsu Group.

In a statement, DAN said the appointment will bolster its ambitions to been seen by clients as “data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led”, and build on a recent period of global business growth.

The company has acquired more than 170 businesses over the last six years, focusing particularly on including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing, social and mobile.

This was coupled, however, with financial troubles at the top. Parent Dentsu Group restructured its business in seven global markets and cut 3% of total workforce at the end of last year. London-based DAN slashed approximately 11% of its total headcount in each of those markets.

Now, the chief Dentsu Group, Toshi Yamamoto, is hoping to bring DAN and the homegrown Dentsu Japan Network "closer together".

“Our philosophy is that innovation can come from anyone, anywhere, and it is clear Wendy shares our passion for discovering new and better ways to solve client challenges and will be motivating and inspiring for our global workforce,” he said.

Clark added: “It’s both an incredible honor and deep responsibility to join DAN at this crucial time.

“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.”

Clarke’s global role will be held in the interim by the network’s chairman, Chuck Brymer, who previously held the role of president and chief executive until 2018. Clark was elevated into the top agency job in 2018 after a two-year stint as North America chief.

John Wren, Chairman and chief executive, Omnicom Group, said: “For the 12 years that Chuck ran DDB, he helped build it into a creative powerhouse. I have the utmost confidence in his leadership, especially in these uncertain times, to steer DDB to new growth as we look for new leadership.

“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.”

Clark revealed her leadership secrets in a podcast for The Drum last year.

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