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Dentsu Aegis boss Luke Littlefield departs with Carat’s Simon Ryan taking on group role

Ryan: The content pipeline is only going to get bigger

Ryan to take the reins at Dentsu Aegis.

Dentsu Aegis CEO Luke Littlefield is departing Australia’s second largest media agency holding group, with Carat boss Simon Ryan set to replace him and retain his responsibilities at Carat.

Littlefield had started out with the group, formerly owned by Harold Mitchell, in 2007 and took on the CEO role of Aegis in 2011, and was promoted to the head of the group in 2013.

Dentsu Aegis agencies in Australia include Carat, Dentsu Mitchell, Vizeum, BWM Dentsu and Isobar.

In a statement, Nick Waters, CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, said: “Luke has done really well steering the group through two mergers over the last five years and I thank him for his contribution to the business.

“Simon has been a consistent standout performer over recent years, leading Carat with energy and dynamism to become the most successful media agency in Australia. He has earned this opportunity to lead the group in the next phase of our development and it is very encouraging to be able to promote such strong talent from within the group.”

Littlefield departing the agency group.

Littlefield departing the agency group.

Littlefield has overseen the transition of the advertising group in the wake of the departures of both Harold Mitchell and Stuart Mitchell, overseeing a shift of clients from Mitchells to Carat and a reposition of Mitchells to Dentsu Mitchells with a focus on Australian clients. 

It was also Littlefield who was forced to make the call to close its “creative led” media agency Huckleberry just 18 months after the agency was rebranded last year following the loss of Medibank Private.

In a statement, Littlefield said: “It has been a great journey over the last 8 years with Mitchell Communication Group, Aegis Media and, most recently, Dentsu Aegis Network. I am proud of what we have achieved in the market, and now feels like the right time to move on. It is good to leave the business in good shape and in good hands.”

Ryan has been in the role at Carat since late 2013 where he spearheaded a major new business push and saw the agency retain its biggest client: Woolworths.

Nic Christensen 

The announcement:

Dentsu Aegis Network today announces a succession to the leadership to its Australia and New Zealand business. Luke Littlefield resigns from the group and Simon Ryan is promoted from CEO Carat ANZ to CEO Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ.

In March 2013 Dentsu Inc acquired Aegis Group Plc to form Dentsu Aegis Network globally. CEO Luke Littlefield was instrumental in integrating the business in ANZ, which followed the earlier integration of Aegis Media and the Mitchell Communication Group. The business has grown rapidly with new office expansions across Australia and key acquisitions such as BWM which significantly enhanced the dentsu agency offering in the market.

Following the successful integration of the businesses Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ now moves into a new phase of development. Carat has delivered strong performance under Simon’s leadership and was named the number one media agency in the 2015 R3 New Business League table, the second consecutive year in first place.

Nick Waters CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific said: “Luke has done really well steering the group through two mergers over the last 5 years and I thank him for his contribution to the business. Simon has been a consistent standout performer over recent years, leading Carat with energy and dynamism to become the most successful media agency in Australia. He has earned this opportunity to lead the group in the next phase of our development and it is very encouraging to be able to promote such strong talent from within the group.”

Luke Littlefield said: “It has been a great journey over the last 8 years with Mitchell Communication Group, Aegis Media and most recently Dentsu Aegis Network. I am proud of what we have achieved in the market, and now feels like the right time to move on. It is good to leave the business in good shape and in good hands.”

Multinational media and digital business Dentsu is parent company to the likes of Carat and Vizeum.

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