DT managing director John Du Vernet departs business ahead of AKQA switch

John Du Vernet has departed his role as managing director of DT less than a year after taking up the job after his agency Tongue merged with the digital shop.

Tongue founder John Du Vernet

The move comes as DT prepares to be rebadged under the global AKQA brand.Du Vernet transitioned to the role with DT last June, when Tongue was rolled into the fellow WPP agency as part of a streamlining process for the holding group as it looked to reduce the number of local brands, following its merger with STW Communications.

In a social media post overnight Du Vernet wrote: “After an amazing 8 years in leadership positions at WPP, I’m taking some well-deserved time off.

“As some of you already know, I’m now on gardening leave working inside the family investment business and spending some more time on the Can-Too Charity of which I am a board member (see”

DT’s CEO Brian Vella said in a statement: “We can confirm that John Du Vernet, MD of our Sydney office, is no longer with DT.

“He’s been replaced by Tony Vella, a long-standing member of the team. Tony’s strong digital and management experience positions the agency extremely well to service our valued clients and for ongoing success and growth.”

Du Vernet founded Tongue in 2009 alongside Jonathan Pease and Tim Sexton, with the Sydney-based agency forging a reputation in the experiential and digital space, working with clients including Telstra, Kellogg’s and Vodafone.

Pease and Sexton are both remaining in their respective roles as chief creative officer and commercial and people director at DT.

Prior to tongue Du Vernet spent nearly five years with Naked Communications, and had a two-year stint in sponsorship for Vodafone.


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