David Blecken
Jan 5, 2016

ADK hires regional, China and Indonesia ECDs to support global growth

TOKYO - ADK has appointed Chris Gurney, formerly of Geometry Global, as regional ECD for its ADK Global division, along with two further senior creative hires for China and Indonesia.

Chris Gurney will be based in Singapore alongside Rob Sherlock
Chris Gurney will be based in Singapore alongside Rob Sherlock

Gurney was previously Geometry’s Singapore ECD and has 10 years' experience working in Japan with agencies including Dentsu and Hakuhodo.

In Jakarta, ADK has brought in Nick Morgan as ECD of ADK Global Indonesia and hired Kelvin Leong as his counterpart in China. Morgan was most recently ECD of FCB Jakarta and Leong group creative director of FactoryLabs Shanghai.

The appointments follow the establishment of ADK Global in November, and the move of worldwide ECD Rob Sherlock to chief executive of the unit. The Japanese agency aims to become a much stronger network outside of its home market, where it is the third-largest agency after Dentsu and Hakuhodo.

In a statement, Sherlock said 2016 was “going to be a transformative year” for ADK and that the hires “are an integral part of making sure creativity is at the centre of everything we do”.

Nick Morgan

In a brief telephone interview, Gurney said he was attracted to ADK's challenger approach and that he thought the agency was more flexible than some of its direct competitors. He said its leaders were also realistic about the challenges involved in building a strong global network.

"There's a job to be done, but they're not trying to rush in and build everything in the next 12 months," he said. "They're doing it in a smart way, bit by bit, and I think the opportunity is there to create something new and different."

He added that ADK appeared to have relatively little red tape. Where in his previous role he had four direct reporting lines, he said, in the new role he will simply report to Sherlock. He said his immediate priority was to establish better connection between ADK's offices.

"I want people to feel it's a network, not just an individual market," he said. "I want to get people connected, sharing work and ideas, and build a creative community."

Kelvin Leong

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