De Nardis Takes Media Reins at Aegis

NEW YORK Mainardo de Nardis has taken the new position of CEO of Aegis Group’s media operations; he has also been installed as a director of the holding company.

His arrival at Aegis comes 10 months after he was named to those posts [Adweek Online, Oct. 21]. De Nardis had been global CEO at WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia, where his contract recently expired. He had helmed Mediaedge with chairman Charles Courtier since the agencies merged following WPP’s acquisition of CIA parent Tempus in 2002. De Nardis will likely not be replaced at Mediaedge.

At London-based Aegis, de Nardis will oversee the worldwide planning and buying activities of the Carat, Isobar, Posterscope and Vizeum agency networks.

Aegis Group CEO Robert Lerwill said the move acknowledges de Nardis’ 25-year track record of running “successful media communications businesses all around the world.” As a result of the appointment, Carat Americas CEO David Verklin will report to de Nardis instead of Lerwill, although Verklin remains on the Aegis board.

De Nardis assumes his position amid overtures by Havas majority shareholder and chairman Vincent Bolloré to forge an alliance with Aegis. Bolloré also holds nearly 30 percent of Aegis’ shares. Should Bolloré’s stake in Aegis reach that threshold, he would be required by U.K. takeover laws to make a bid for the company.

In May, Aegis won consolidated global planning and buying chores for Adidas-Reebok; Gap joined its roster in June. Other key assignments include Hyundai, Renault and Walt Disney.