Worldwide chairman of M&C Saatchi Tom Dery to relocate to Boston

Tom DeryWorldwide chairman of M&C Saatchi Tom Dery is set to depart Australia for the US next year where he will take up a place as a fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.

Speculation has been growing Dery, who will continue as worldwide chairman for the agency, and his partner Tom McFarlane would take more of a back seat in the running of the Australian operation following the appointment last year of CEO Jaimes Leggett.

In a statement today Dery said: “Nothing changes too much really, I will fulfil my role with M&C Saatchi from a different part of the world, with the exciting challenge of the Harvard opportunity thrown in.”

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review today Dery and McFarlane have swapped their equity stakes in the local agency for a similar stake in the listed global network, with plans for local management to pick up their stake in Australia. 

Dery, who founded M&C Saatchi Australia in 1995 shortly after the Saatchi brothers set up the agency in London following their ousting from Saatchi & Saatchi, acknowledged the progress M&C Saatchi Australia has made under the leadership of Leggett.

The agency has won a number of new clients this year, including NRMA Australia, Cricket Australia and Lexus as well as bolstering its strategy team as it looks to offer media planning and strategy to clients.

“(Regional Creative Chairman) Tom McFarlane and I, together with the board are very pleased with the progress Jaimes Leggett is making after 18 months as M&C Saatchi Australia CEO,” Dery said.

“Jaimes has made great strides building a new management team to position us strongly for the future. We have enjoyed remarkable recognition and success over the past 18 months. This has been built on a very solid foundation together with imaginative and innovative leadership in our rapidly changing industry.”

Dery expects to be back in Sydney two to three times a year, saying he would remain “very much in touch with Jaimes and the Leadership Group”.

Miranda Ward


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