Staff Reporters
Nov 10, 2021

40 Under 40 2021: Davy Rennie, Tribal Worldwide

Rennie transformed a struggling agency, is an outspoken mental health advocate, and successfully reeled in an 'unwinnable pitch'.

40 Under 40 2021: Davy Rennie, Tribal Worldwide
Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry

Davy Rennie

National managing director
Tribal Worldwide

After stints with Accenture and Deloitte, Davy Rennie landed at DDB Group in 2017, where he helped steer Interbrand’s growth with client wins such as Newscorp and Foxtel, doubling the company’s business along the way. After breezing through the task, he was then tapped by global CEO Marty O’Halloran and Australia leader Andrew Little to transform Tribal, the network’s struggling experience and interactive agency. 

His first task: A seemingly “unwinnable pitch” from longtime partner VW. 

To bag this deal, Rennie had to completely recast the automaker’s perception of Tribal. He did so, successfully turning VW into a multi-year partner and leading to some of the best examples of digital work across the region. With VW in the bag, he spent the next couple of years stabilising the business, and in 2020 and 2021 managed to turn the business around into one that was profitable with year-on-year growth.

Rennie reinvented Tribal starting with the internal perception within DDB Group and stakeholders, and then with partners. In 2021, despite Covid and nationwide lockdowns, Rennie helped the shop report three quarters of growth and a profit margin of over 25%, with year-on-year forecasted growth of 22%. To drive growth, he also built out a design function in Melbourne, hired a strategy chief and appointed the agency’s first-ever national ECD. Client wins under his leadership have included Kmart, Coles, Cupra, Bizbox and NewsCorp.

Rennie is also on this list for being an outspoken advocate for mental health. He is open about the pressures of agency life and has been working with a number of industry leaders to change the industry’s approach to mental health. He was in the first edition of 'Heart On My Sleeve', a mental health advocacy programme that asked leaders to share their mental-health battles with the wider sector. 

Year-on-year, the agency has increased its investment in mental health programmes by 15%, with Rennie driving more initiatives like 'Ask me anything', an alcohol-free social event as well as ‘Employee of the week’ to improve culture and encourage overall wellness and health.

Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry


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