APAC media veteran Ken Mandel is leaving his role as president of innovation and commerce at Publicis Media APAC, Campaign has learned. it is understood that Navaneeta Das, head of product and client development, will take over the role.
Mandel, who has led Publicis Commerce, the group's ecommerce unit, since its launch early in 2017, confirmed his departure when contacted, and said he will make an announcement about his next role at an appropriate time.
Campaign has reached out to Publicis Media regarding its plans for Mandel's role.
"It was an interesting and rewarding ride to be the founder and president of Publicis Media's foray into ecommerce and deliver a diversified capability beyond traditional media," Mandel told Campaign. "I leave knowing that the team I’ve built will increasingly give Publicis a leg up on competitors and continue to futureproof the business."
Having recently moved into a new home with landscaping needs, Mandel said he will be spending at least some of his gardening leave literally gardening. But he also has some advertising-related projects to occupy him.
"During my gardening leave I’ll be working on some venture projects in Southeast Asia that would have been challenging to oversee in my [Publicis] capacity," he said. "Jam Ventures, which I founded in 2011, has a couple of portfolio companies come to fruition which require more direct focus to help ensure successful outcomes."
Publicis Commerce's most visible win came last summer from Microsoft, which appointed the agency for digital merchandising of its Windows, Office, Xbox and Surface product lines across Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.