David Williams is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merkle Inc. He acquired Merkle in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 5,000 employees in locations in the United States, Europe and Asia and is one of the leading agencies in the US for digital, CRM/data, and search. In September 2016, Merkle joined the Dentsu Aegis Network, which acquired a majority stake in the agency and David now sits on its Executive Committee.
Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained double-digit annual growth over the last 25 years and is the only agency that has been recognised by Forrester Research across every aspect of the customer journey: customer engagement strategy, marketing and database operations, search marketing, and loyalty solutions. In 2016, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 9th largest CRM/Direct Marketing agency globally, the 2nd largest US search agency, and the 13th largest US digital agency. In 2012, Merkle was named to the “Ten Agencies to Watch” list in Advertising Age’s A-List Issue. David was recognised by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
David is the author of the book, Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy, which was published in 2014 by Wiley Publishing. In the book, he shares his knowledge and experience, with the intent of helping world-class brands build stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as Customer Relationship Marketing, Database Marketing and Analytics, Digital Media, and Marketing Technology.
David served on the board of directors for the Ad Council (2015-2017). He served for 6 years (2006-2011) on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also sat on its Executive Committee. He also served for 3 years (2010-2013) as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of John Hopkins Medicine.
He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.