Dentsu India now under direct charge of Peter Huijboom and Ashish Bhasin

Huijboom is the global CEO for media and global clients and will continue to spearhead India operations until the group finds a new CEO

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Sep 16, 2021 10:32 AM
Peter Huijboom and Ashish Bhasin

dentsu India, which continues to be in news for series of senior-level exits — including its India CEO who stepped down a fortnight ago—, is now being run directly by global media CEO Peter Huijboom and APAC CEO Ashish Bhasin. If sources are to be believed, the group's operational responsibilities, including hiring and resignations, are largely being managed by Huijboom while Bhasin continues to focus on the business aspect.

“Bhasin is busy with client meetings and is part of all meetings pertaining to the business aspect. He understands the Indian market much better than any APAC or global leader. Meanwhile, Huijboom is taking care of all internal operational issues,” said a senior industry source.

When contacted, dentsu spokesperson said this is an interim arrangement that will continue until the group finds a new CEO.  The official statement also continues to emphasise that all changes are part of dentsu India’s 2.0 transformation plan.

“To accelerate this transformation, Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC and Chairman India, and Peter Huijboom, Global CEO, Media and Global Clients have assumed interim, day-to-day leadership of dentsu India while the business completes its search for a successor to Anand Bhadkamkar, who left dentsu on August 31,” read the statement issued by dentsu in response to e4m’s queries.

It added: “With this new structure, we are well positioned to unlock higher levels of business performance, innovation, and solution-led strategies for our people and for our clients. Our ambitions and goals are interconnected, and this is the beginning of dentsu India 2.0’s new and transformed path to success.”

Sources in the industry also believe that Simon Jones, Chief Financial Officer, dentsu Asia Pacific and Asha Suvarna, CFO, India, have also been actively involved in running the India operations in the last one year.

The network has been hit by a series of senior-level exits in the last few weeks. Haresh Nayak, president, Posterscope APAC, was the latest to put in his papers last week on September 8. In the recent past, many of his former colleagues, including Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO, dentsu India; Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, South Asia, Isobar; Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect; Gopa Menon, COO, Isobar; Vivek Bhargava CEO, DAN Performance Group; Gautam Mehra, chief data and product officer, APAC and CEO, DAN Programmatic; and Agnello Dias, CCO, Taproot Dentsu also chose to leave the group.

Who is Peter Huijboom?

Huijboom is the CEO, Media Brands & Global Clients, at Dentsu Aegis Network. As per his profile, Huijboom for more than 25 years has been passionately working in international marketing services and has held global leadership positions of the Aegis data and research arm after integrating his own European research business into the international network. Currently, as a member of the global Executive Board of Dentsu Aegis Network, he leads the Global Clients function in Dentsu Aegis Network and holds responsibility for our Media Brands.

He has worked in international marketing services across many industries with FMCG forming a red thread in the first 10 years of his career. Having managed and (exec) sponsored many global relationships with top international clients, across industries, leading and managing change has always been a special passion for him.

However, sources in the industry claim that Huijboom's involvement in India is momentary. "He is around during the transformation period and will make a smooth exit once the company finds a CEO and is more stable," the source added.

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