Essence Alum Jill Metcalf Will Lead Dentsu Media’s Strategy

By Olivia Morley 

A headshot of Jill Metcalf.

Dentsu has hired Jill Metcalf as its new chief of business strategy and transformation for Dentsu Media in the Americas. Her appointment reflects the company’s desire to execute on its lauded strategic vision—and Metcalf will draw on her consulting background to do that, she told Adweek.

Analysts recognize Dentsu Media for its strategic vision. In a recent Forrester Wave evaluation, the firm received the highest rankings from analyst Jay Pattisall for its execution roadmap. The group’s mission statement “get to next” reflects its future-forward mentality.

Dentsu has charged Metcalf with executing on that strategy. Her scope spans across its agencies Carat, iProspect and Dentsu X. She’ll focus on the business plan and drive the group’s business models, solutions and capabilities in the United States, Canada and Latin America— as well as crafting the group’s internal go-to-market strategies and its M&A strategies. Her focus on M&A comes at a time when holding companies continue to restructure and expand their offerings.


In the new role, Metcalf reports to Doug Rozen, CEO of Dentsu Media in the Americas.

“To deliver ‘what’s next’ is acknowledging that there is always a next, that transformation is never done. Jill has a proven track record for successfully evaluating and evolving agency business strategies, offerings and operations to ensure success for both an agency and—more importantly—clients,” Rozen said in a statement.

Metcalf comes to Dentsu from GroupM’s Essence Global, where she served as svp, client operations and oversaw work on the agency’s Airbnb, Clif Bar & Co, Discord, Clorox and Jiffy Lube accounts. Before Essence, Metcalf was a senior consultant of corporate strategy at Deloitte. There, she worked with clients on their business transformation plans. All told, she has 15 years of strategic and commercial leadership experience.

“I was really attracted to this role because it’s a really nice combination of my consulting experience and my agency work,” said Metcalf.

Her hire comes as agencies and consultancies alike are changing their hiring strategies. Agencies seek out more leaders with consulting backgrounds, while consulting giants are hiring more creative talent. With Metcalf, Dentsu Media opted to bring in a leader with a background in both consulting and ad agency leadership.

“Consultants by nature are problem solvers. We identify a current situation and we are informed by best practices and look at how to get to a desirable end goal. I think that rings true for the work that I’ll be doing here,” Metcalf said. “Dentsu was already on a long-term transformation journey. And I’m coming into that with the opportunity as a consultant to look at where we are, understand where the vision is meant to take us and help define the long-term road and processes and practices to get there,” she added.

One of the first things she’ll do in the new role, she told Adweek, is to bring the media group’s three agency brands together for annual planning.