Robert Sawatzky
Feb 17, 2023

Gordon Domlija, his dog Harvey, and his exit from Wavemaker

Domlija has posted on LinkedIn about the return of his family dog, Harvey. Domlija's response to the dog's treatment during their recent move to Singapore led to his exit as APAC CEO of Wavemaker.

Gordon Domlija, his dog Harvey, and his exit from Wavemaker

Former APAC Wavemaker CEO Gordon Domlija has communicated publicly about the return of his family's dog Harvey for the first time since his abrupt exit from the GroupM agency at WPP.

In a LinkedIn post, Domlija referenced the dog's severe mistreatment during the family's job-related move from Shanghai to Singapore: "Abducted, abused, whereabouts unknown for 10 days, while in the care of the company entrusted with his health and safety. Finally returned, cuts on his nose and lips, broken canine tooth, malnourished, having lost 20% of his bodyweight, shaking uncontrollably and suffering considerable trauma. But thankfully, he is alive."

Campaign has ascertained that Domlija's exit from Wavemaker was related to his 'heated' responses, understood to have been threatening in nature, over Harvey's treatment by a logistics company that WPP supplied. Campaign also understands from speaking to those familiar with the matter, that his exit from Wavemaker was a decision made by GroupM and WPP after due consideration of what had transpired.

WPP's Business Code of Conduct states: "We believe that a workplace should be safe and civilised; ...we will not tolerate...discrimination or offensive behaviour of any kind, which includes the persistent demeaning of individuals through words or actions."

GroupM, however, has declined Campaign's request for comment.

Domlija also has declined comment to Campaign, but his LinkedIn post alludes to the frustration he felt, which likely influenced how he responded. It also references his thoughts on the responsibilities of companies to treat people well.

"I can’t begin to understand the motivations of companies or individuals that would do or allow this, though in a time when people are treated so awfully by organizations, maybe it’s too much to expect that those same people would make any consideration for the welfare of a dog that is supposedly in their care," he writes.

"Everyone has their own values and priorities in this regard. For me protecting family, friends, those in your care, in any way possible, is non-negotiable, always, regardless of the personal cost."

Campaign Asia

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