Harold Mitchell sets retirement date but name lives on

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EXCLUSIVE: Australia's most renowned media man Harold Mitchell will quit as head of Aegis Media in early August, B&T has learned.

Mitchell, 71, will quit his role as executive chairman of Aegis Media Pacific on August 10, but the storied Mitchell & Co name will be continued.

Sources close to the arrangements said Mitchell has already established a management team to take over the business.

Mitchell is regarded as the godfather of Australian media buying, having started his Mitchell & Co agency as Australia's first dedicated media agency in 1976. It still remains one of the largest agencies in the country.

In 2010, he jioned ranks with Aegis, which owns agencies Carat and Vizeum globally, in a deal which reportedly netted him $200m, and has remained in control of the new group, and a major shareholder.

When Aegis was sold to Japanese giant Dentsu for a massive premium last year the writing was on the wall for Mitchell, who had previously said he would only do two years under the Aegis structure.

Last month, his son Stuart departed the company, and recent interview comments have suggested Mitchell has been preparing for his retirement.

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