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Martin Cass exits MDC as group unites Media Partners with ‘connected consultancy’ Gale

Martin Cass, chief executive of MDC's Media Partners and agency Assembly, is departing the holding company amid a restructure designed to unite its media, data, tech and CRM offering.

Cass was named chief executive of MDC's Media Partners business in 2014. He had previously spent 18 years at Carat, where he was eventually named US president.

MDC confirmed he would be stepping down, however noted he would remain throughout a period of “transition”.

The company would not comment on his next steps; Cass did not respond to The Drum’s request for comment at the time of writing.

Cass' departure comes as MDC announces the formation of an umbrella group comprising Gale –  a ‘connected consultancy’ specializing in data, technology, CRM and addressable content – and its Media Partners division, which includes the likes of Assembly, Varick and Trade X.

The new venture will be jointly spearheaded by Gale’s chief executive, Brad Simms, and MDC veteran Michael Bassik.

The duo will both take on the title of co-chair, while Bassik, who also runs the network’s Yes and Company, will also take over the Assembly chief executive role from Cass.

However, Yes and Company will not become part of the new Gale/MDC Media Partners mashup.

Mark Penn, chairman and chief executive of MDC Partners, hinted more consolidation was on its way at the network.

“Today marks the first in a series of actions bringing together the best talent across MDC Partners into collaborative networks for the benefit of our clients,” he said. “Today, we are ... creating a truly progressive solution for marketers as creative and content take on more digital applications and media trends toward addressability.”

Simms added: “Too many agencies are operating in their own bubbles, confined to siloed business models that no longer work in the clients’ best interests. This alliance will help us bring even deeper expertise to clients in service of this mission.

“As a fulsome offering, we form a strategic and executional team that can enhance the power and performance of brand marketing and media across digital and traditional channels.”

The company had previously embarked on a cost-cutting 'rationalization' mission around the time its chief executive and chairman, Scott Kauffman, stepped down.

It counts shops such as 72&Sunny, Doner, Anomaly and CPB within its agency stable.

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