Euan Jarvie has quit as UK & Ireland chief executive of Dentsu International and is leaving the agency sector for data technology business IRI Worldwide, where he will be EMEA president.
Japanese-owned Dentsu International, which has been led by Wendy Clark since September 2020, will appoint Jarvie’s successor in due course and will not appoint an interim CEO in the UK & Ireland.
Giulio Malegori, the EMEA chief executive, will work with the UK & Ireland leadership team during the transition.
Scottish-born Jarvie has run the UK & Ireland operation since February 2019 and was previously president of global clients at what was then Dentsu Aegis Network after joining as executive director of clients at subsidiary Carat in 2014. Prior to Dentsu, he spent 18 years at WPP’s MediaCom.
Jarvie has led the UK & Ireland through a challenging period. Dentsu International’s global revenues were in decline before the pandemic and the group carried out at least two rounds of redundancies in 2019 and 2020, as well as slashing the number of agency brands from 160 to six.
However, the UK & Ireland has moved back into growth in 2021 as the market has rebounded from last year’s slump.
Jarvie will depart later this year to join IRI Worldwide, which is not a direct competitor to Dentsu.
IRI Worldwide has its roots in market research and has moved into data and predictive analysis and attracted new external investors in 2018.
Malegori said: “Aligned to Dentsu International’s strategy to be the most integrated agency network in the world, Euan and the UK&I leadership team have led the market back to organic growth, simplified how it operates and brought our leading capabilities in media, CXM [customer experience management] and creative closer together under six leadership brands. Notably, Euan has built a strong leadership team who will continue to grow and transform the business around our clients’ needs.
“I would like to thank Euan for his valuable contribution to our clients, people and our business over the years, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Jarvie said: “I have always believed that to strengthen and grow, a business needs to adopt the right set of behaviors – from the inside out. It is so much more about ‘what you do’ than ‘what you say’. I have been fortunate to find a unique set of leaders who embraced this belief with a dedication and passion for real collaboration to transform the UK & Ireland business and return it to growth.
“I am extremely proud of what we’ve achieved, in the UK and in my time leading the global media client’s business. Whilst more recently the pandemic made the role more challenging, I am grateful for the opportunities Dentsu has given me and genuinely believe the UK business is in a strong position to progress and thrive in the future.”
One insider credited Jarvie with bringing some stability to the UK & Ireland business after two previous leaders left in the space of little over a year: Tracy De Groose stepped down as chief executive in 2017; and Stef Calcraft, who joined as executive chairman in 2018, left within 12 months.
Jarvie brought the London and Manchester businesses closer, simplified operations and expanded in creative and data as Dentsu International looked beyond its media roots.
The parent company has moved towards a matrix structure with three global service lines, media, CXM and creative, and three major geographic regions, EMEA, Americas and APAC outside Japan.
One person familiar with the company pointed out the UK operation has a trio of leaders already in place for each key service line: Hamish Nicklin, CEO of Dentsu Media, Anne Stagg, CEO of Merkle, and James Morris, CEO of Dentsu Creative.