Wendy Clark has been named global CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). Clark, with nearly 30 years of industry experience, will join DAN in September 2020 from Omnicom Group where she served as global president and CEO for DDB Worldwide. Prior to Omnicom, she spent seven years at The Coca-Cola Company in global and regional operating roles, culminating in her promotion to Coca-Cola’s president of Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing.
Clark stated, “It’s both an incredible honor and deep responsibility to join DAN at this crucial time. 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.”
She added, “I genuinely can’t wait to meet the 42,000+ associates of DAN later in the year--when the world emerges from this significant period of change and turbulence--so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work creating value and impact for our clients, together.”
Clark will report to Tim Andree, executive chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, and will be appointed executive officer of Dentsu Group Inc. at the same time as she joins the business in September with the approval of the Board of Dentsu Group Inc. Andree has been executive chairman of DAN since its founding in 2013, adding the CEO role to his responsibilities for the past 15 months, and he has led the search process.
Andree said, “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. 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.
“Her experience is hugely complementary to DAN’s growth plans over the coming decade where Dentsu’s long-standing history of client-centricity combined with an ability to deliver fully integrated solutions will be critical. Wendy will join us as the world is emerging from a period of unprecedented challenges. I am confident that her strong leadership style and comprehensive experience will inspire our people, connect with our clients to help drive their brands forward and continue our focus on providing integrated global solutions while building excellence into every part of the rapidly changing marketing ecosystem we serve.”
Dentsu Aegis has focused on acquiring relevant, high-performance businesses globally in high growth areas including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing and social & mobile. Among the most notable acquisitions was that of Merkle, positioning DAN as a market leader for data, analytics and CRM.
Toshi Yamamoto, president and CEO Dentsu Group Inc., commented: “This is a key time for our business as we bring Dentsu Aegis Network and Dentsu Japan Network closer together for the benefit of clients and our people. 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. Her blend of global marketing experiences makes her the ideal leader for the role and importantly will allow her to marshal our world-class capabilities to align with changing client needs.”
Andree has been on a health-related leave of absence since January. He returned to his role as director of Dentsu Group Inc. last month and will return to his other roles at Dentsu and DAN in a phased approach. During this period, Yamamoto continues as Acting Executive Chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, in addition to his role as president and CEO, Dentsu Group Inc.
Clark has been a high-profile participant on the industry awards front. In 2017 during her tenure at DDB North America she served as president of the Cannes Glass Lions jury. Back in 2011 while at Coca-Cola North America, she became the first client-side marketer to head the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions jury.