Candid Introduces Ruud Wanck as New CEO

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Ruud (Rudiger) Wanck is Candid’s new CEO as of 1 October 2020. Candid is the largest independent marketing and advertising platform in the Netherlands. Headed by Ruud Wanck, former Global CEO of GroupM Connect, a new organizational structure will be created to expand both nationally and internationally.

CEO and founder Gérard Ghazarian will be leading the new board of directors. In his position as president, he will focus on Candid’s merger and acquisition strategy (M&A).

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Candid is growing rapidly which is a result of several acquisitions such as media agencies Stroom and M2Media. In 2018, Candid acquired the Digital Agency Group including digital media, data, and advertising agencies like Online Company, Havana Harbour, and 6Circles. Last year, daily dialogues and XXS joined the marcom platform. “Because of COVID-19 new acquisitions had to be put on hold, but with Ruud, I will be working alongside an experienced CEO who will enable us to accelerate even more,” says Ghazarian. “COVID-19 disrupts the entire market and affects Candid equally; being agile and able to look forward are essential skills in these challenging times.”

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Wanck held several global leadership positions at GroupM over the past years, working from AmsterdamLondon, and New York. GroupM is part of the world’s largest communication company WPP including media agencies Mindshare, MediaCom, and Wavemaker. Ruud’s career involved a number of roles at GroupM, from Chairman in the Benelux, Chief Digital Officer for EMEA, Global Digital COO to Global CEO at GroupM Connect, where he headed thousands of digital experts working across 60 countries in the field of marketing, data, and technology. Three years ago, he co-founded an investment company participating in various start-ups and scale-ups. He will stay on as a co-founder in addition to his role as CEO at Candid where he has also joined as a partner. “What Gérard and his team have built over the past few years and the way Candid positions itself is impressive. We will now be taking the company into the next stage of growth, both in the Netherlands and worldwide.”

As a result of COVID-19, there will be lasting changes in consumer behavior and business operations. Advertisers will focus on digital transformation and related data and technology strategies more than ever. “The market had a digital reset. Marketing, distribution, and sales are inextricably connected in a digital economy. This will be our main priority and focus when further developing Candid, our services, and our M&A strategy,” says Wanck.

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