Staff Reporters
Dec 14, 2015

Best of 2015: Top 5 APAC promotions and appointments

Some serious shuffling took place amongst regional leadership at many agencies this year. Here's our list of the top 5 appointments, and some choice comments came along with them.

Best of 2015: Top 5 APAC promotions and appointments

As 2015 nears its end, Campaign Asia-Pacific is reviewing the year by featuring one best-of (or worst-of) list each day. We've got 12 days' worth of the biggest PR disastersdealspitches, launches and people moves; the best and not-best campaigns; and the oddest stories and quotes we've heard. Click here for all our year-in-review features from not only 2015 but also past years.

This year saw even more movement at high levels than usual. Here's our view of the year's biggest hires.


Stephen Li joins the OMD family in Asia

Stephen Li took up a new position as Asia-Pacific CEO of OMD in October, a lateral jump from his old role at MEC Asia-Pacific, where he had spent the last 10 years.

Li raised eyebrows across the region by confessing that maybe he joined OMD because he really wanted to be one-third of the only senior management team of an agency in Asia that’s all Asian. His “we are all yellow” quote may just be the most colourful comment of the year associated with a move.


Jean-Paul Burge steps up to helm BBDO Asia

With Chris Thomas jumping to the role of CEO of the Americas for BBDO back in March, after nine years helming the Asia operations, Jean-Paul Burge stepped up to fill some very large shoes.

Burge got the gig after a commendable performance running the Singapore operations and was a member of the regional leadership during a change of fortune for BBDO in Asia led by Thomas.

Commenting on Burge’s promotion, Andrew Robertson, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said: “he knows what it takes to succeed in the region.”


Philip Brett takes up the reins at TBWA Asia

A regional shuffle at TBWA saw Philip Brett promoted to Asia president, taking over day-to-day oversight during the first quarter of the year.

Previously president of TBWA Group South and Southeast Asia, Brett replaced Keith Smith, who has remained has remained de facto regional head despite being named president, international in 2006. Smith is now president international, global markets.

Singapore also became the network's Asia headquarters, though Brett stressed that Hong Kong remains an important office, both as a gateway to China and as either the hub or the home for important clients including Standard-Chartered.


Ayami Nakao takes leading role at Hakuhodo

In July, Ayami Nakao was appointed corporate officer at Hakuhodo, the first time a woman has taken such a role at Japan’s oldest advertising agency.

While the title seems vague, Nakao essentially serves as a director of global branding and leading new business.

“The role used to be just a title, but mine will be much more operational,” she said, with one of her missions to achieve stronger visibility and strengthen the reputation of Hakuhodo outside of Japan.

Nakao joined the agency in 1996 but has served as a ‘fellow’ for the past 10 years, based independently in Paris.


Ken Mandel suits up at Starcom Mediavest Group

After a long hiatus, Ken Mandel rejoins the office crowd as Asia Pacific president of Starcom Mediavest Group’s Global Client Network practice.

His last 'real' job was as APAC MD for Hootsuite, a post he left late last year due to a restructuring.

"I've always enjoyed working in big corporations, but what led me out of them was a need to deepen my technical skills,” Mandel said. “Now I get to bring almost a decade's worth of that knowledge back to an industry I've always loved.”

Global CEO Laura Desmond said Mandel's "expertise and pioneering footprint in digital," will give SMG a competitive advantage to help clients "unlock growth and business transformation".


See all year-in-review features

Campaign Asia

Related Articles

Just Published

12 hours ago

40 Under 40 2023: Ruchika Gupta, Beam Suntory

An ambassador of female leadership, Gupta is building a team of thought leaders at Beam Suntory and inspiring them to achieve their highest potential.

12 hours ago

Why does such a lack of transparency still exist in ...

Although many adtech players remain incentivised to keep the ecosystem opaque, new business models and auditing practices are challenging the status quo to demonstrate value for clients.

14 hours ago

Swatch switches media duties to Publicis from ...

Swatch is the second long-term client after Dyson to depart from GroupM to Publicis this year, following news of a bribery scandal in China in 2023.

14 hours ago

The Scott Calorie Absorber Pro converts a kitchen ...

The clever campaign reimagines the humble drying towel as a mighty health supplement in a bid to tackle Malaysia's growing obesity epidemic.