Brand Makers

Dentsu India’s chief client officer Narayan Devanathan quits

Sources close to the development also indicate that one more senior executive is on his way out.

By  Priyanka NairJun 1, 2022 3:26 PM
Dentsu India’s chief client officer Narayan Devanathan quits
Former Dentsu India chief client officer Narayan Devanathan.

High-profile exits continue at Dentsu International India. Latest to quit is Narayan Devanathan, the company’s chief client officer. Devanathan was with the network for 11 years. Devanathan has decided to pursue interests outside the advertising industry.

In a press note, the company said that its India market will be led by key leaders like Divya Karani, Amit Wadhwa and Anubhav Sonthalia. Interestingly, there is no mention of Kartik Iyer, chief operating officer of Dentsu International India.

Last month, Sidharth Rao, CEO, dentsuMB Group, had quit. Rao is the founder of Webchutney, one of India’s first digital shops, which was acquired by Dentsu India in 2013.

In 2020, Dentsu announced it would cut the number of global brands from 160 to six as part of a major transformation of the Tokyo-based group’s international operations. Consolidation of its over 20 agency brands in India accelerated in early 2021. However, that has not gone well with the Indian operations and top executives. The Indian unit of Dentsu Group Inc has been rocked by a series of senior-level exits since August 2021, potentially causing more departures, and deepening turmoil at the advertising company.

Agency insiders tell Storyboard18 that in the last few months, there have been several mid- and senior-level exits. There are several vacant spots in the company and the network company still has no CEO to run the show in India. Storyboard18 was the first to report about the exodus and has been reporting about people developments with a close lens over the last 8 months.

Earlier today, in our bi-weekly column MC Insider, we indicated that an impromptu management meeting was scheduled by Dentsu’s HQ to share a few updates. A mole told us a high-profile exit is underway (Narayan Devanathan) and there is one more in line. An insider says, “The company will not be able to hold up to any more people crises. Clients are already anxious about these developments and have started reviewing their businesses with this agency.”

The company still has to battle some rough tides, before the storm calms down

First Published on Jun 1, 2022 3:26 PM