Mr. Andree, an American, will be the first non-Japanese individual to be appointed as an executive officer of Tokyo-based Dentsu.
The new role takes effect in late June, and while it isn't quite so exclusive -- Mr. Andree will continue in his current job as CEO of Dentsu America and is among 25 prospective executive officers nominated by Dentsu's board of directors -- his appointment is significant. It marks the first time the more-than-a-century-old ad agency has allowed a foreigner to penetrate its uppermost ranks.
Efforts at revitalization
Since taking the helm of New York-based Dentsu America two years ago, Mr. Andree has been trying to revitalize the agency, steering a major reorganization of U.S. operations -- including staff overhauls and acquisitions such as its purchase of San Francisco shop Attik.
Dentsu America is one of the fastest-growing among the top 200 U.S. ad agencies, according to Advertising Age's recently published agency report, more than doubling 2007 revenues and advancing to the 57th spot.
Separately, Dentsu today reported disappointing full-year results, among other things an approximately 11% drop in operating income to $540.3 million, partly due to the impact of clients' conservative ad spending in the second half of 2007, Dentsu noted in financial statements.