Mainardo de Nardis, executive vice chairman of Omnicom Media Group, is leaving the holding company at the end of the year, the company has confirmed.
De Nardis has been with the holding company for a decade, most of that time leading flagship media agency OMD as global CEO.
He was elevated to his current role in September 2017 when Florian Adamski succeeded him as OMD CEO.
De Nardis has spent most of his nearly 40 years in the agency business at holding companies, but now says he wants to get back to his entrepreneurial roots.
He started a media agency back in the 1990s that subsequently merged with another media shop, CIA. That firm was acquired by WPP and became the foundation for MEC, now part of Wavemaker. Separate PR and CRM agencies that he helped create were sold to other parties.
2019 will be a year of major industry upheaval, de Nardis predicts, as he points to the turbulence encountered this year by Facebook and other media industry behemoths, adding that now is the right time to pursue a new venture.
He is working with advisory firm MediaLink as he assesses a number of options including a go-it-alone company, a partnership with others or possibly a private equity venture.
Traditional holding companies will also be radically transformed going forward, he says. “They have to clarify their role in the future.”
And while he has enjoyed his run at Omnicom, de Nardis says he is looking forward to a “faster and more agile next chapter.”