Dentsu ANZ boosts CXM offering with hire of John Riccio as CEO of Merkle

Dentsu ANZ has made the key appointment of John Riccio as CEO of Merkle, its customer experience management business (CXM) across Australia and New Zealand.

Riccio will start in early 2022, from his most recent position as experience consulting partner APAC, EY.

Riccio has experience in leveraging emerging technology that supports sustainable growth at pace, and will play a critical role in leading the growth and evolution of Merkle ANZ.

John Riccio

John Riccio

Riccio has spent most of his career helping clients in the retail and financial services industries.

The move is part of Dentsu’s commitment to accelerating the growth and performance of its CX consulting, data, digital transformation and B2B services after a year of significant simplification, capability integration and investment across all key areas of the Merkle/CXM business.

Dentsu ANZ CEO Angela Tangas said: “John is a seasoned professional and brings new energy and sound executive leadership to deliver best in class customer and digital transformation solutions for brands in this strategically important growth area of our network.

“The last 18 months have seen significant changes for our clients and their customers. John’s experience navigating complex digital environments only enhances how we evolve further, faster, together.

“We are committed to partnering with brands to create distinctly better experiences through the combination of human understanding, creativity, design, data and technology. How these are connected is where we can unlock the greatest amount of brand relevance and client value.”

Riccio said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join a business that is forward thinking, agile and focused on the client, customer and employee experience. The transformational journey Dentsu has already embarked upon is amazing. Now is the time to get ready for the next chapter and I can’t wait to be a part of that journey.”

The hire of Riccio coincides with the departure of Erik Hallander who leaves Dentsu to pursue other opportunities.

“Erik has been with Dentsu for 13 years and has played an important role in the establishment of Merkle and our broader transformation activities. I’d personally like to thank Erik for his commitment and dedication during this time. It’s been an incredible journey and we wish him all the best for the future,” Tangas said.

Riccio will join the Dentsu ANZ business in February 2022.


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