Industry veteran and former employee Danny Bass has scuttled industry rumours he’s at the front of the queue to take the vacant CEO role over at GroupM.
The chair’s been vacant ever since Mark Lollback’s abrupt departure back in mid-March with many observers – both inside WPP and out – regarding the role even more pressing than replacing WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees who quit a fortnight ago.
B&T has been told WPP bosses are currently interviewing for the role and a headhunter has been employed to scope potential external candidates “with strong media sales experience”.
Meanwhile, Bass – who served as GroupM’s CIO for five years from 2014 – has unequivocally declared his hat’s not in the ring for the gig.
Bass purposely vanished from Australia’s ad landscape when he quit his role as IPGMediabrand’s CEO in November 2019.
Many in the industry thought he was biding his time on ‘gardening leave’ before making his next move.
And, indeed, he made a next move, although it has nothing to do with the ad business.
Bass is now running a corporate wellness and yoga retreat called Berry Hill Farm in Leets Vale on the Hawkesbury River in Sydney’s outer fringe.
And, judging by Berry Hill’s very scenic website, you could hardly blame Bass for not wanting to make a speedy return to the stresses of GroupM’s North Sydney towers.
Bass telling B&T he’d heard the rumours about a possible return, revealing that “everyone [seems to] think that”.
He added: “I can 100 per cent guarantee it’s not me though. I’ve had a bit of a change of life over the past 12 months and opened this place [Berry Hill Farm].
“It’s a really special place. We’re very lucky to have it. We went live at the end of January and every weekend is now gone [booked] for the year. We do corporate off-sites and yoga retreats, which are starting to go well,” he declared.
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