Carat installs MDs in Sydney and Melbourne

Dentsu media agency Carat has appointed two new managing directors to oversee its Sydney and Melbourne offices.

Lauren Small joins the agency as Sydney managing director from Publicis, where she spent nine years, most recently as general manager of Spark Foundry. And Chris Ernst steps into the Melbourne MD role from holding company Dentsu, where he was Queensland’s managing director for a year.

CEO Sue Squillace, who a few months ago overhauled the agency’s strategy team, said she is “building a team that is exciting for the future of Carat”.

Small and Ernst

“Both Lauren and Chris are proven leaders with first class credentials and highly respected in their fields. They each have the ability to instil confidence and passion in their teams and focus on strengthening all client and partner relationships,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to be working with both Lauren and Chris as part of our ELT [executive leadership team] who I have the utmost respect for, and both share my passion for collaborative people-based leadership.”

Squillace worked with Small when she was chief executive of Spark Foundry. This hire adds to the collection of old Spark colleagues she’s lured to Carat, including chief strategy officer Linda Fagerlund and chief investment officer Craig Cooper.

Small said she is “truly excited to be joining Carat in a period of momentum”.

“I look forward to drawing on my collaboration experience to create enduring and meaningful internal and external relationships with our people and partners,” she said.

“My plan is to start with building on the culture that already exists, and making Carat Sydney a fulfilling and exciting place to come to work every day.”

Ernst has been responsible for uniting Dentsu’s Queensland offering, including re-integrating Amplifi into Carat and connecting Carat, iProspect, and Haystac in the market.

“It’s great to have been given the opportunity to lead the Carat Melbourne team and to be working more closely with Sue across the Carat business nationally,” he said of the new role.

“We’ve got an incredible team in Melbourne, and we’re fortunate to partner with some of Australia’s top brands including Medibank, L’Oreal, Kraft Heinz and more. I can’t wait to get stuck into it.”

At the end of last month, the holding company rebranded from Dentsu Aegis Network to Dentsu International.


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