Customer experience agency MercerBell Australia has promoted managing director Julie Dormand to CEO.
Dormand is taking over the leadership baton from current CEO and founding partner, Nick Mercer, who is appointed chairman of MercerBell Australia.
David Bell remains in his role as executive creative director.
Set to take on the position of MercerBell CEO on January 1 2019, Dormand will report into Michael Rebelo, CEO Publicis Communications ANZ, and will also become a member of the Publicis Communications Country Leadership team.
Dormand has been with MercerBell since 2001 and is the agency’s longest serving member.
During her tenure, she has been a driving force behind the success of the agency, managing key clients to pitching and winning new business, in addition to promoting a culture of staff empowerment through a focus on benefits.
Contributing to the industry in a number of capacities, Dormand has served as a board member of industry body ADMA, and in 2016, received the ADMA AC&E Jon Clark Outstanding Contribution Award.
MercerBell Australia chairman Nick Mercer says: “The culture of MercerBell is a wonderful reflection of the ways Julie has helped build a business based on strong values of fairness, egalitarianism and respect.
“A long-time supporter of women in leadership, she is a part of Publicis Groupe’s Viva Women.”
Moving in to his new role as chairman of MercerBell, Nick Mercer has also been appointed Country Leader for Publicis Data Spine.
He will report to Matt James, CEO of Publicis Media for Data Spine, and will continue to report to Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Communications ANZ, in his new role as chairman of MercerBell.
The newly announced leadership changes also coincide with Publicis Communications taking full ownership of MercerBell following the completion of a three-year acquisition earn-out period.
During this time, MercerBell has helped to grow the Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ model, sharing new business wins with Publicis agencies, including NRMA Motoring & Services, alongside Saatchi & Saatchi, and an expansion into Victoria that saw the opening of a MercerBell Melbourne office in September 2017.
Commenting on MercerBell’s year on year growth, Dormand says it was rewarding to work alongside founding partners, Nick Mercer and David Bell, as the agency leadership team steered the move away from a successful independent model to becoming a part of the Publicis Groupe.
Dormand says: “MercerBell was already working with Publicis Communications clients and to begin with had a unique positioning in the Australian market as the customer experience agency.
“We’ve only gone from strength to strength after being acquired by the Publicis Groupe.”
Identifying and leading the MercerBell acquisition and managing the process personally, Publicis Communications ANZ CEO Michael Rebelo says: “The acquisition of MercerBell has been a strong success in terms of our ability to fuse the marketing narrative between brand, creativity and digital customer experience.
“We have seen the market change dramatically over these past three years, substantiating our initial theory that clients are looking for partners that can solve and advise across a wider brand and customer experience remit.
“Our clients have benefited and we’ve grown significantly as a result.
“It’s very rewarding to see Julie being promoted to CEO and Nick continue to take on a bigger role in the Publicis Groupe.