Woolworths@Dentsu has appointed AKQA Media’s head of digital in Sydney, Matt Benning as its new head of digital and performance.
Benning has spent the previous 15 years at WPP agencies, starting out at MEC in Wellington. He leaves AKQA Media as it prepares to merge with Essence, becoming part of GroupM on 1 January 2022. He replaced Dru Nho, who swapped groups with Benning two weeks ago, joining Wavemaker as national head of digital.
Managing director of the Woolworths bespoke agency, Barbara Messitt, said: “I am so pleased that Matt is joining our team. With his wealth of experience and passion for all things digital I am certain he will further drive our digital transformation journey with the brands. The team here are all very excited to start working with him.”
Benning spent the majority of his career to date at MEC, in roles in Wellington and London, before becoming group business director in Sydney, when the agency merged with Maxus to become Wavemaker in 2017.
His experience has included group digital director on Vodafone and Visa Europe for MEC in the UK, and is also a committee member of the MFA Interactive Taskforce.
Benning said: “I am thrilled to be joining the talented Woolworths team and to work alongside some of Australia’s most trusted brands. I am excited to continue the development of our digital capabilities as we navigate the evolving digital landscape.”
Gayle While, Dentsu Media’s chief digital officer, who joined the agency in July said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Matt into the Woolworths team. He’s a passionate and highly respected digital leader whose expertise will be invaluable in supporting our clients to respond to today’s fast changing market with effective strategies and innovative solutions.”
Joining on 29 November and based in Sydney, Benning will be working with retail brands across Australia to “maximise how digital capability, data, and technology, is helping businesses solve for now, and providing a new understanding of how we can perform better in the future”, according to the agency.
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