Between the lines: Digital needs senior staff

When a managing director leaves any business, it tends to be a surprise.

But Ciaran Deering's planned departure from the digital agency Tribal DDB (page 5) is more surprising than most.

Not only has Deering just successfully steered the business through some difficult times, the industry itself is looking healthier than it ever has before.

The problem now for DDB's chairman and chief executive, Paul Hammersley, will be finding someone with sufficient profile and experience to take the agency forward in a highly competitive market.

Hammersley is looking for someone with a background in digital and says he will not be shuffling someone across from DDB to do the job - which is undoubtedly the right approach. The trouble is, the number of good people with experience of running a digital business of Tribal's size and quality are few - not to mention the fact that most digital agency chief executives actually own or have a sizeable stake in the businesses they run.

One of the digital industry's problems is the scarcity of good, senior-level staff. The Tribal job is an attractive one, but who has the right credentials to fill it?


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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).