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‘I did run my internal battery empty’: Michel de Rijk, S4 Capital and Media.Monks’ boss, resigns

S4 Capital and Media.Monks’ chief executive in Asia Pacific, Michel de Rijk, has resigned after close to five years with the agency group.

In a LinkedIn post, de Rijk said the decision was fueled by the need to take on different priorities in life.

“It’s been a journey, in probably the most difficult circumstances I could ever imagine. As everyone who has been based in the APAC region during this period will agree, Covid has hit us harder than anywhere else in the world,” he said in the post.

“From extended lockdowns, social gathering bans, inability to visit family for years, attend weddings and funerals of loved ones because of closed borders to food package deliveries to colleagues homes and oxygen deliveries to hospitals. But also the unfortunate loss of (ex)colleagues and friends because of the horrible virus. The emotional impact on many will be there for years to come.”

He spoke of the emotional pressure in the role in exchange for business growth.

“I did run my internal battery empty, it impacted my personality, who I am and what I stand for, it impacted my family and joy in life. That’s the reason why I resigned,” he continued.

“I will take some time off to spend with family, travel, read and explore before I think about my next step in the workspace.”

A Media.Monks spokesperson confirmed de Rijk’s resignation, and said Ignacio Liaudat will act as an executive sponsor and interim regional leader for APAC, while it looks for a permanent replacement.

“Michel has been a valuable part of our leadership team over his time with the business. He has aided our global leadership in building a creative and resilient team of innovators in the Asia Pacific region. We wish Michel all the best in the future.

“Ignacio leads our Latin America region and has recently spent significant time with the teams in APAC helping to connect the region to strategies for our global goals.

“He is working closely with Michel during a three-month transition period as well as Kenny Griffiths – our leader of data and digital media in the APAC region.”

De Rijk joined Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital in 2018, with previous experience as APAC president of GroupM’s [m]Platfom and global chief growth officer of the holdco’s Performance Media Group.

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