Mumbai: After months of speculation, Charles Berley Jenarius, India country director of Aegis Group Plc., the global marketing and communications group, has resigned. Aegis Media Asia South CEO Richard Hamarick confirmed Berley’s exit by email: “Yes, I can confirm Charles resigned late last year and has worked out his notice period. We are close to confirming a CEO but are unable to comment further.”
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Aegis Group is the global parent company of Aegis Media and Synovate, a market research company. Jenarius was previously CEO for Carat Media Services India Ltd, the specialist media agency that is part of Aegis Media.
A few months ago, there were strong rumours that Jenarius was exiting Carat which were refuted both by Jenarius and Halmarick. Thereafter, he was promoted to India country director for Aegis and the post of CEO has been vacant since then. At the time of his promotion, a press release stated that Jenarius was entrusted with the new role of “building up of Aegis Media’s diversified services businesses.”
Jenarius became CEO of Carat India in 2004 when the agency was going through a rough patch. Its then-CEO Meenakshi Madhvani had moved out, sparking a flight of critical media accounts related to brands such as Airtel (planning), Cadbury’s and Asian Paints.
During Jenarius’ tenure, Aegis Group snapped its strategic alliance with Percept Holdings Pvt. Ltd in 2006 and bought back the stake held by Percept in Carat India. As part of this alliance, Carat did media planning and buying for some of Percept’s clients. Hence, after this relationship was severed, Carat lost some Percept business too.
Jenarius’ resignation is, however, not linked to this but to the less than impressive growth at Carat India, say some media buyers who did not wish to be identified. Aegis is in acquisition mode here and in an earlier interview Halmarick had said that the group was eyeing acquisitions in outdoor media and specialized services.