More movement at Dentsu amid pre-Christmas redundancies

Following on from reports this morning that dentsu Media’s chief investment officer Ben Shepherd had exited the business, Mumbrella can reveal a suite of senior redundancies have been made at the Japanese holding company ahead of Christmas.

Mumbrella understands a number of cuts were made last week, including iProspect Melbourne managing director, Paul Murphy, locally, as well as APAC leaders Cheuk Chiang and John Riccio.

Dentsu Media CEO Danny Bass confirmed that Murphy had been made redundant after two years with the business.

“We thank Paul for his efforts in leading the team over the past two years,” he said. “This is in no way a reflection on the direction of iProspect Victoria and we will be focusing on ensuring the team can best deliver for clients into the new year.”

Formerly chief media officer at Cummins & Partners, Murphy moved across from the independent agency around the same time as now dentsu Creative CEO Kirsty Muddle.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the wonderful people and clients of iProspect,” Murphy told Mumbrella. “These past 2 years have been a wonderful experience that wouldn’t have been possible without your support. I look forward to my next challenge and announcing it in the new year.”

Chiang and Riccio’s exits were reported by Campaign Asia last week as part of a number of key leadership changes made across dentsu APAC as it restructures to align to a new global strategy. Both had been based out of dentsu’s Melbourne office.

Riccio first joined dentsu as Merkle CEO in early 2022, with his remit expanded to include APAC within months. He had been focusing on the APAC business since March 2023, after Steve Yurisich was promoted to CEO for ANZ.

Cheuk’s exit comes 18 months after he returned to the Australian fold of the business to take on the CEO remit for dentsu Creative in the APAC region. He had previously been CEO of the Greater Northern region at Dentsu International since 2019, with a remit that included China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea.

The pre-Christmas redundancies come after dozens of redundancies were reported to have been made by the holding company in the middle of the year. Mumbrella understands the total number of jobs cut at the time to be in the range of 40.

Outgoing chief investment officer at Dentsu Media, Ben Shepherd, was not affected by the redundancies and will announce his next role shortly. He exits after less than a year with the agency.

“I’ve decided to leave dentsu. I look forward to seeing its leadership experience future success,” he said.

Bass in a statement said: “We wish Ben all the best in his future endeavours.”

His departure comes after head of client partnerships at Carat, Matt Evans, also resigned from the agency group last week.

“After a truly spectacular near 6yrs at Carat, I’m exploring new opportunities in marketing, media, creative, or beyond; and welcome all discussions, referrals, and coffee chats,” he shared on a post to LinkedIn.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.