DAN’s CEO Henry Tajer is ousted after less than a year in the role, replaced by Angela Tangas

The Dentsu Aegis Network’s local CEO, Henry Tajer, is departing the company, effective tomorrow, after being appointed to the leadership role in January. He will be replaced immediately by Angela Tangas.

CFO Reg Davidson will also depart, replaced by Jerome Whelan. Ashish Bhasin, the holding company’s APAC CEO, said it’s the “right decision”.

Tajer has been DAN’s local CEO since the start of the year

“I believe this is the right decision for the network and market,” Bhasin, who was appointed to his role in September, said in a statement.

“Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are important markets and have a critical role in our global business strategy. In 2019 our business in Australia continued to be impacted by local market and business challenges and I would like to thank Henry and Reg for their support during a difficult period.

“To help the market return to growth, the ANZ leadership team have created a blueprint to enable much-needed transformation, one which will leave the business with stronger foundations and a more competitive local business model.

“As a leadership team we are committed to all our regional markets as well as providing stability to our teams, business, clients and partners.”

Bhasin added that Tangas and Whelan will be “instrumental in leading the business through its next phase of growth and into a successful 2020”. Tangas was named the Network’s chief commercial officer in August, while Whelan has been APAC finance director of business transformation at the group since October 2015.

Tajer was brought on to captain the group following a rocky period for DAN’s agencies, and has spent the year restructuring following the loss of the $40m Mondelēz International account, $20m Amart accountSuper Retail GroupVirgin AustraliaAsahi, and Bega (which moved to Thinkerbell after a 10-year relationship with Carat).

Tajer attempted to reverse those fortunes in hires such as Sue Squillace. Since Squillace’s beginning as CEO in September, Carat has won two major accounts in L’Oreal and the $50m Medibank and AHM business.

The group-wide DAN restructure began in May, a few months into Tajer’s tenure, 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.

Carat’s MD Simon Williams left in July after Squillace became CEO. In the same month, Amplifi’s head of programmatic Luke Manley was made redundant, following Michael Bass’ appointment as Amplifi’s chief investment officer two weeks earlier, replacing Ashley Earnshaw, who became CEO of DAN media agency Vizeum.

In August, Nick Swifte and Indy Khabra exited, while Daniel Isaac was appointed as Dentsu X’s CEO.

Erik Hallander was named CEO of Isobar in August after Konrad Spilva stepped down earlier this year. Mitchell McBeath resigned as national MD of Columbus in September.

Last week, the holding group merged Isobar and With Collective, while earlier this month, DAN announced it would be converting to a ‘pure holding group’ structure in 2020.

Coinciding with the announcement of the restructure was the company’s FY2019 quarter three results, in which Dentsu reported a regional decline of 12.3%, driven by Australia and China. The company said there are “no green shoots of recovery in either market, both of which continue to severely impact the regional and group performance”.


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