Carat MD Simon Williams leaves agency as part of ongoing DAN restructure

Simon Williams, Carat’s national managing director, has left the business, the latest departure in a broader restructure of the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN).

A DAN spokesperson said that these “changes to the business” are part of the Amplifi reintegration. However, despite this reintegration, DAN appointed Michael Bass as chief investment officer of Amplifi just this week. Williams’ departure is in line with suspicions around what would happen to the role following Sue Squillace’s appointment to the CEO role last month, but in contradiction to confirmation from a DAN spokesperson at the time that Williams would stay in his role, which he only began in September last year.

“As part of the reintegration of Amplifi Australia’s Investment and Solutions capability back into the Group’s media brands, we’ve made some changes to the business. We are unable to comment further on these changes as they affect our people,” DAN said in a statement provided to Mumbrella.

Williams has been with DAN since 2015

The group-wide restructure began in May, a few months into Henry Tajer’s tenure as CEO, when DAN took an axe to its executive suite.

Before being promoted to Carat’s national MD at a difficult time for the agency, Williams was chief client solutions officer for holding group DAN for a year, and at Amplifi previously, serving in roles across the network since 2015.

Carat has been one of DAN’s most troubled agencies, losing a number of high-profile staff and accounts.

Despite hiring Squillace, Alex Smith (client lead), Marnie McKeown (head of content services and media integration), Dick Laurie (strategy director) and Tom Andrews (returning to lead the $19.4m Disney account), and promoting Danni Wright to a national role, a number of staff movements have impacted the agency. CEO Paul Brooks left to join Nine, while it’s also lost CMO Andrea Rule (moving to LinkedIn), head of strategy Alex James (shifting to a similar role at PHD), head of digital Michael Corry (jumping ship to 303 Mullen Lowe), and the former head of the Disney account, Laura Bartal (becoming partner at Lacuna).

Carat has also lost big accounts such as Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahiMondelēz InternationalAmart, and Bega, attempting to counteract them with the addition of United Airlines, Beacon Lighting, Event Hospitality and Entertainment, and Grill’d.


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