DAN continues restructure with the exit of Amplifi’s Luke Manley

Amplifi’s head of programmatic Luke Manley has departed, the latest in a series of exits as Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) CEO Henry Tajer continues his restructure of the holding group. Mumbrella understands Manley’s role was made redundant.

Amplifi’s media and investment arms are being reintegrated into DAN media agencies Carat, Vizeum and Dentsu X, but the brand will continue to exist, cemented with the appointment of Michael Bass as chief investment officer last week, who stepped into the role following Ashley Earnshaw becoming CEO of DAN media agency Vizeum.

Manley began the role in 2017

“Our media business is undergoing a period of change. During this time, our focus remains on our people and our clients,” a DAN spokesperson told Mumbrella.

Manley joined in 2017 from Mamamia, where he was the Victorian sales director after being group sales manager at Ten.

The group-wide DAN restructure began in May, a few months into Henry Tajer’s tenure as CEO, when DAN made a number of executives redundant, including Adrian Roeling, president of Amplifi. Nick Seckold, managing director of marketing agency iProspect, and Andrew Hewett, head of public affairs and communications for DAN, were the other team members impacted by the round of redundancies.

Tajer’s restructure continued with the most recent departure of Carat managing director Simon Williams last week. Williams’ role was called into question when Sue Squillace was named CEO, but his departure was in contradiction to DAN’s assertion that Williams would stay in his role following Squillace’s appointment.

DAN media agencies have faced a tumultuous time. Carat has lost accounts including Super Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahiMondelēz InternationalAmart, and Bega.

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. Carat 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).

Vizeum saw Travis Day resign as MD last July, national head of client solutions Corinne Moth left to join OMD as a business director, and it lost the $15m AFL account early this year.

Earlier this month, Dentsu X lost the Australia Post account to Wavemaker.

DAN’s Asia Pacific operations have also seen a number of senior-level exits this month.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Philip Zohrab had also exited the holding group. DAN has confirmed he is still with the business.


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