Dentsu this morning announced a restructuring -- naming long-time executive Tim Andree its chairman, marking the first time the 120-year-old Tokyo-based agency holding company and media conglomerate has been chaired by someone who is not Japanese.
As part of the restructuring, Dentsu also named a new president-CEO -- Hiroshi Igarashi -- who succeeds Toshihiro Yamamoto, who is retiring as chairman, president and CEO of Dentsu Group.
Yamamoto, who has led Dentsu for five years and oversaw its acquisition of Merkle and its diversification into a "data, insights and consumer intelligence" organization," stated that the goal of the reorganization is to keep Dentsu focused on a "blend of creativity, innovation, and customer-centricity."
"We exist to realize a better society by contributing to the growth of our clients, partners, people, and all consumers," he added.
Igarashi previously served as President-CEO of Dentsu Inc., and head of Dentsu Japan Network.
Andree, a former professional basketball player, as well as former head of marketing and communications at the National Basketball Association (NBA), joined Dentsu in 2006 as CEO of Dentsu America, went on to serve as the first president-CEO of Dentsu Network West, and was a key player in the acquisition and integration of Aegis Group plc in 2013, which ultimately formed the basis for what its consolidated global media operations, now branded Dentsu International.
As part of today's announcement, Dentsu noted that Wendy Clark, who joined last year as its global CEO, remains global CEO of Dentsu International.