Dick van Motman, the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) global CEO of content & creative who also serves as global president of Dentsu Brand Agencies, is stepping down. He is leaving Dentsu after after a 7-year tenure serving in top leadership positions for Dentsu and DAN in Asia, then globally.
Van Motman immediately becomes an advisor to DAN's executive chairman and CEO, Tim Andree, working mainly on transition until the end of the year, when he will leave the agency. This timing coincides with Dentsu's move to form a new 'one Dentsu' corporate structure in the new year, but the exit is not directly linked to it.
"I feel the time is right for me to pursue other ventures where I can apply my global experience on a wider canvas," van Motman said, noting his passion for business transformation in positions across nine countries, three holding groups and recently leading a division with more than 7000 staff.
He told Campaign he will be stepping up his involvement with start ups and advisory boards in the fintech, adtech and healthtech spaces. He also mentioned he is contemplating other opportunities "in due time.”
Van Motman's departure follows a tumultuous year of change at Dentsu Aegis Network in Asia involving restructuring and job cuts, along with a substantial list of Dentsu Aegis CEO exits in Asia over the past year and comes just days after Campaign first reported the departure of iProspect global CEO Ruth Stubbs.
Among the other high-level departures at DAN over the past year are longtime APAC CEO Nick Waters (who went to a UK/Ireland role with the company as Takaki Hibino became APAC executive chairman), China CEO Susana Tsui (who later joined TheAsianParent), Southeast Asia CEO Phil Teeman and North Asia CEO Rob Hughes and former Carat CEO Jonathan Chadwick.
Van Motman joined Dentsu in 2012 from DDB where he was Greater China CEO to lead Dentsu's SEA and Oceania network. During this time, the network made several key acquisitions including Jayme Syfu Group in the Philippines, Dwi Sapta Group in Indonesia among many others, along with the expansion of existing agency brands to new markets. In January 2018, van Motman officially took up a promotion as president of Dentsu creative agencies, which was expanded earlier this year to become global CEO of creative for Dentsu Aegis Network, including responsibility for Mcgarrybowen, making van Motman a member of DAN global executive team.
Asked why he would leave now after the recent promotion, van Motman told Campaign he understands why some might question his departure, but says while he helped developed the blueprint for DAN's next phase of evolution, this became "a very natural moment to take stock and ask if I am committing myself for the next phase. We sat down as a company and talked about it openly and I then decided to leave it in a very good staffing [position]."
"Seven years ago, I joined as the first non-Japanese head for for Asia, transformed the company majorly through acquisitions and diversified talent away from being a Japanese agency for Japanese clients," he added. “It has been an exhilarating ride at Dentsu.”
Thanking van Motman, DAN executive chairman and CEO Tim Andree said van Motman "leaves us in a strong position on our journey to cultivate a world-class global creative offering that is tech-enabled and ideas-led, to deliver valuable brand and experience transformation."