Ex-Dentsu boss Henry Tajer takes stake in The Influence Group and joins as CEO

Ex-Dentsu Aegis Network’s local CEO, Henry Tajer has resurfaced, taking a significant stake in the newly created Australian influencer marketing services firm The Influence Group after being appointed CEO, effective immediately. 

In his new role, Tajer will work side-by-side with The Influence Group founders, Sharyn Smith and Howard Parry-Husbands, to expand the group’s existing businesses and build its portfolio.

The Influence Group L to R Howard Parry-Husbands, Sharyn Smith, Henry Tajer

The Influence Group currently includes two market-leading companies: strategic consulting and insights business Pollinate and social influence agency Social Soup.

Together, the companies employ 50 people around Australia and have recorded revenue growth of 30% a year over the past five years.

His resume includes global CEO of IPG Mediabrands based in New York, executive chairman of IPG Mediabrands Australia, president of Mediabrands Asia Pacific, managing director of Amazon Media Group Australia, and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Australia and New Zealand.

Tajer said: “I’m honoured and excited to be joining forces with Sharyn and Howard. The Influence Group is already home to two highly successful and independently owned businesses, and there is a strong opportunity to grow them and take the group to the next level.

“Our aim is to put influence at the centre of the media and marketing universe. For too long, influence has been regarded as an afterthought. But the business of marketing is changing as more and more companies recognise and harness its power.”

The Influence Group director and Social Soup founder and CEO, Sharyn Smith, said: “We’ve known Henry for many years and he has always recognised the opportunity in our businesses and the role for influence.

“There is genuine alignment of ideas and ambitions across the three of us. We have complimentary skills sets and different perspectives to drive real, tangible success for clients new and old.”

The Influence Group director and Pollinate CEO, Howard Parry-Husbands, added: “Henry’s stellar career proves he understands how to create growth, locally and globally. He has a deep understanding of the marketing and media business, and recognises the key role influence plays in changing people’s behaviour and driving sales.

“As an independently owned group, with a simple structure and a great team, The Influence Group is purpose built to deliver an easy-to-access but exponential difference for our clients.”

Pollinate and Social Soup have offices nationally and their client lists include some of Australia’s leading organisations. Last month, Social Soup was named the best large agency/business in the inaugural Australian Influencer Marketing Council Awards.

Tajer now joins a raft of other industry bosses to make the move into the influencer marketing space.

In October last year, ex-Havas Media Australia chairman Mike Wilson joined the board of influencer agency, Hypetap.

Wilson departed Havas at the end of August after co-founding Havas Media in November 2013.

One week later, former Publicis and Ogilvy chief executive Andrew Baxter joined the influencer agency as non-executive director. He quit Publicis in early 2018.


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