Robert Sawatzky
May 31, 2021

AKQA promotes Hideaki Hara to lead its Japan business

Appointment part of leadership transition following Sam Sterling's promotion late last year

AKQA promotes Hideaki Hara to lead its Japan business

AKQA has promoted Hideaki Hara to be AKQA Tokyo's new general manager, leading the studio's business in Japan, effective immediately.

A client partner who has worked with brands such as Nike, Google, and Itochu, Hara first joined AKQA as a community manager in 2013 and has grown his role and responsibilities since then. In a release, AKQA said Hara played a crucial role in growing the business last year amid the challenges that came with the pandemic. 

Hara's appointment is part of a planned leadership transition in Japan after Sam Sterling was promoted from managing director AKQA China and Japan to APAC chief strategy officer late last year. He will report directly to APAC managing partner Brian Vella.

Campaign's Agency Report Card for 2020 reported that AKQA was planning to appoint market leads in China and Japan, but said it would support aspiring leaders to grow into the roles over time rather than handing them the keys before they are ready.

“Hideaki is a wonderful human and lives and breathes AKQAs values," Vella said in a release. "He brings a growth mindset to every room, and is well respected by his peers. Hideaki also knows the local market well, hence it was a natural decision to appoint him to this role.”

“The past eight years at AKQA have been extraordinary," Hara said. We work with some of the most innovative brands in the world. Businesses are constantly changing, driving AKQA to press ahead of them to stay capable of being a trusted partner. I’m incredibly excited to continue to innovate with this remarkable team and our clients.”

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