In what is seen as a coup for IPG Mediabrands Australia, GroupM chief investment officer Danny Bass is set to depart the media buying giant to replace Henry Tajer as chief executive of Mediabrands.
Mr Bass was until now considered a likely heir to John Steedman at the helm of GroupM.
He will take up his new position as Mr Tajer prepares to leave for New York after his appointment as global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, reporting directly to Mr Tajer.
“The Australian business is the second largest and most innovative group in the IPG Mediabrands worldwide network, so retaining close and constant contact with Danny and developments in Australia will be a top priority for me,” Mr Tajer said.
Joining Mr Tajer and Mr Bass at the group level is Reg Davidson, who was named last week chief operating officer of IPG Mediabrands Australia.
Mr Tajer described the appointment of Mr Bass as “a huge coup”.
“Danny Bass became a clear choice as the ideal leader for the 600-plus people who work in the Australia group,” Mr Tajer said in a statement. “He is a future-facing, highly effective leader who is a perfect fit for the way we progress as a business and work as a national team.”
A starting date for Mr Bass is yet to be announced but he is reportedly on gardening leave from GroupM. Prior to his role as chief investment and intelligence officer, he has served as GroupM’s chief digital officer and News Digital Media’s national sales director.
He described the move as a challenge he was honoured to take on.
“Both internationally and in this market, IPG Mediabrands Australia is known as a top-class and highly effective group with very impressive integrated communications capabilities,” Mr Bass said. “Henry . . . and the board of directors have built a very powerful resource for their clients.”
The search for a replacement for Mr Steedman at GroupM continues after the chief executive announced late last month that he would step down in June this year.
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