Dentsu Aegis Network Institutes Layoffs, Furloughs and Salary Cuts Across Agencies

Measures were taken across the company to varying degrees, sources told Adweek

The Dentsu Aegis Network logo
Dentsu Aegis Network has made significant cuts across its agencies. Dentsu
Headshot of Erik Oster

Dentsu Aegis Network implemented a series of cost-cutting measures across its agencies last week, which includes layoffs, salary cuts and furloughs.

The company set benchmarks for these measures that varied among individual agencies, sources with direct knowledge of the holding company’s operations said.

Employees over a specific income all took pay cuts as an initial measure, according to one of these sources. Despite this, layoffs and furloughs across Dentsu Aegis Network agencies became inevitable as it weathered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they said. The company is also utilizing furloughs to avoid layoffs wherever possible, according to another source.

“We consider our people to be our greatest strength and are doing everything we can to ensure we have a healthy and sustainable business for them and our clients after this crisis passes,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

The move follows news earlier this month that Dentsu Aegis Network hired Wendy Clark from DDB as global CEO. Clark begins the position in September.

Even before the impact of the pandemic became clear, Clark was set to join Dentsu Aegis Network at a turbulent time. Her hire marks the latest in a series of senior leadership changes at the holding company.

Dentsu Aegis Network reorganized its leadership team with a series of C-suite appointments last month, promoting Nathan Carver to chief technology officer, Akash Jairath to chief data officer and Christina Mohebbi to chief programmatic officer.

A month prior, the holding company promoted Michael Epstein, 2019 Adweek media executive of the year, to CEO of Dentsu Media Products and Services. He was formerly global CEO at Dentsu media agency Carat.

Near the end of 2019, Carat named Angela Steele as Epstein’s successor in the U.S. CEO role, followed by appointing Merkle vet Peter Vandre as its first chief analytics officer the following month.

In December, Dentsu Aegis Network also named Jacki Kelley as CEO for the Americas, as Nick Brien decided to step down at the end of the year.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.