Michael Komasinski Appointed Global CEO Merkle

Komasinski succeeds Craig Dempster who has announced his retirement after 15 years with Merkle and four years with dentsu

  • Michael Komasinski’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for dentsu as the business moves closer to its ambition of becoming the most integrated agency network.

  • Komasinski will lead Merkle, one of dentsu’s six leadership brands, reporting to Wendy Clark and will join dentsu international’s executive team.

  • Komasinski commencing his new role on 1 January with a thoughtful and planned succession through the end of the year when Dempster retires.

Dentsu International announced that Michael Komasinski is to be promoted to the role of Global Chief Executive Officer, Merkle and a member of the dentsu international executive team. He replaces Craig Dempster who has been a member of the Merkle executive leadership team for nearly 15 years and joined dentsu during Merkle’s acquisition in 2016. Craig will retire from the business at the end of the year.

Michael Komasinski’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for dentsu as the business moves closer to its ambition of becoming the most integrated agency network in the world, that’s data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas led. Powered by Merkle, dentsu is focused on delivering growth for clients through its integrated human-centric solutions.

Merkle is one of dentsu’s six leadership brands, and was a game-changing acquisition, that’s proved a worthy investment as it remains the market leader in people-based customer experience and a strong growth engine for dentsu. Earlier this year, the brand’s industry leadership was further reinforced with the acquisition of LiveArea, bolstering Merkle’s global experience and commerce capabilities, and further positioning the business as a go-to experience partner for businesses around the world.

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As Global CEO, Craig Dempster has played an integral role in driving Merkle’s culture, growth and profitability, and in building Merkle’s relationships with flagship brands such as AT&T, GEICO, Citizens, and AARP. He has also been a key leader on the dentsu international executive team.

Michael is a natural successor to the role and brings a wealth of experience having led Merkle across two of dentsu’s three regions. Joining Merkle 7 years ago as Chief Operating Officer of Agency Services, he went on to become President of Merkle’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA), leading a business of $400M+ in net revenue. During his four years within the EMEA business, it experienced 5x growth. He currently serves as President of Merkle/CXM, Americas, and leader of the dentsu Customer Experience Management (CXM) Service Line in the Americas, overseeing all aspects of Merkle’s Americas regional operation.

Wendy Clark, Global CEO dentsu international said “Michael’s track record speaks for itself. He inspires and leads teams in developing impactful, data-driven and tech-enabled customer experiences while building lasting and values-based relationships with clients. And he shares our collective ambition to become the most integrated agency network, delivering integrated solutions to drive growth for our clients across creative, media and CXM. I know Michael is ready to progress this agenda at the helm of Merkle and will be a key leader for dentsu as we further accelerate our growth and momentum.”

“Craig has been instrumental in growing the Merkle business over the past 15 years. He leaves the brand in great shape with a strong client portfolio, a solid leadership team and a business that is much more integrated into dentsu. It has been a privilege to work with Craig as part of my Executive team.”

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On his appointment, Michael Komasinski said “I am excited for the opportunity to lead such a brilliant and successful brand into its next phase of growth. Bringing together our combined strengths with dentsu makes us truly market leading, demonstrating to our clients the breadth of capability we offer to deliver integrated marketing solutions and business outcomes. Talent is the lifeblood of brands like Merkle and it is a key focus in the pandemic era as the labor market tightens and we pivot to hybrid ways of working. As in the past, we are focused on making Merkle and dentsu the employer of choice where the best talent in the industry wants to come develop and thrive.”

Craig Dempster said “I am immensely proud of what we as a brand have achieved over these past 15 years. Merkle’s growth and offering under dentsu is world class. Putting data at the heart of everything we do at dentsu is transforming our offer and ultimately providing our clients with a seamless and integrated experience to deliver outstanding growth. I celebrate and thank our people in helping to build one of the most innovative businesses in the world.”

Michael will commence his role as Global CEO Merkle on 1 January and will join the dentsu international executive team, reporting to Wendy Clark. The new President, Merkle Americas will be announced in due course.

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