Aussie managing director set to leave IPG’s Huge following Mat Baxter departure

Ben Skelsey, Australian managing director of IPG’s design and digital experience agency Huge, is departing the business after four years, Mumbrella can reveal.

Skelsey originally joined the agency in January 2020 as group VP, client services, APAC, based out of Singapore. He then moved on to the Singaporean general manager role in 2021, before relocating to Australia when Huge launched down under.


In February 2023, the agency launched into the Australian market under his leadership, and six months later, Mumbrella reported that Huge’s global CEO Mat Baxter had returned to Australia, continuing to lead Huge globally from his Sydney base.

Then, last month, Baxter announced his departure, with UK-based Lisa De Bonis replacing him as global CEO. She has spent the past two and a half years at Huge, as global chief experience officer, then global chief product and growth officer.

Baxter said at the time: “Lisa is the natural successor to continue the transformation of Huge in light of my decision to relocate back to Australia for family reasons.”

Skelsey told Mumbrella the decision to leave the agency did not come lightly.

“Huge is leading the forefront in new agency models. Baxter did a great job kick starting the change and Lisa De Bonis – a friend and a colleague – couldn’t be better qualified to take the reins; she is a great leader and has an amazing team around her,” he said.

“The recent shift in leadership means my skills are in higher demand with her team in NYC and London, rather than in Australia. Considering my family’s decision to remain in Australia and my desire to be present, managing from afar or relocating is not feasible for us.

“So I’m going to focus on things closer to Australian shores, and get stuck into work here,” he told Mumbrella.

Mumbrella has contacted Huge for comment.


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