Saatchi & Saatchi has lured Alexis Chiu from DDB to work under Carol Lam, chief creative officer and managing partner of South China, whom Lam knows from their days together at McCann between 2004 and 2008.
Chiu will be taking charge of Hong Kong's business operations for accounts such as Guinness and Emirates, sharing Lam's workload and leaving her to concentrate on creative work in both Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
The agency's Hong Kong office used to be a supporting office to its mainland China operations, but the agency's restructure last August saw Hong Kong staff levels increase from around 40 to 100 as new clients were won.
"This position is newly-created for Hong Kong, so it signifies the agency's seriousness to grow this office," Lam said. "Our ongoing, long-term challenge is to 'reboot' the HK office and transform clients' brands into something people love."
Lam described Chiu as "a hunter for new business", while revealing that the agency will be after desired new business in the retail, F&B, telco and utility sectors in Hong Kong.
Chiu told Campaign Asia-Pacific that he sees his new role as career progression from his previous position at DDB. Also, together with Lam he felt they will form a "perfect team" in future pitches, given their combined reputations and histories.
When asked about personal performance indicators, Chiu said as long as there are industry recognition for the agency as well as as proven sales volume for the clients they serve, the HK office is on target for its rebuilding momentum.