Dentsu Aegis Network is tapping Omnicom Media Group's former APAC chief to lead its Greater North business from Shanghai.
Starting next Monday (December 2), Chiang will oversee Dentsu Aegis Network China, Dentsu Aegis Network Hong Kong, Dentsu Aegis Network Taiwan and Dentsu Aegis Network Korea. Reporting to APAC CEO Ashish Bhasin, Chiang will join DAN's APAC executive team and will also serve as chairman of DAN China.
Cheuk takes over from Takaki Hibino, who was overseeing Greater North in the interim. Hibino will now focus on his role as executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network APAC. DAN's Greater North region was formed in March when the network announced a simplified three-cluster APAC structure that also includes ANZ and the Greater South. Earlier this week DAN replaced its leadership in Australia and New Zealand amid persistent challenges in that market.
Dentsu has also singled out market weakness in China in recent financial statements. Based in Shanghai and as chairman of DAN China, Chiang told Campaign Asia-Pacific this morning that restoring solid growth in the market will a key priority for him, adding that he is very familiar with the market because he spent more than 60% of his time there in his previous role at OMG. DAN China changed its leadership in March, when chief executive Susana Tsui was replaced by Michelle Lau as CEO. Tsui had previously worked with Chiang at OMG when she was APAC CEO of PHD.
"The Greater North is a critical collection of markets that needs a strong and accomplished leader to drive our business forward in an increasingly complex and challenging landscape," said Bhasin in a statement. "Cheuk is a visionary leader who’s keenly focused on reinventing the way the industry operates. It was clear from the start that he is the perfect candidate to navigate these fast-paced markets for our clients."
While DAN has undergone much restructuring this year, including an unprecedented number of leadership changes, Chiang told Campaign he won't prejudge his strategy before entering the role, but is excited to work in a different way.
"What I saw in in the Dentsu Aegis Group was something we had clearly been watching from afar when I was in direct competition," he said. "What's being built now, the various client solutions, are very different to what I've seen before, certainly built for the future around solving client problems. So it's very much a new way forward and the opportunity to be part of that and to help write that story is something that certainly excited me."
Chiang is returning to Asia after launching startup predictive-marketing technology company Mutiny in Australia. He will remain connected with Mutiny and will keep an indirect role as chairman, while leaving the day-to-day operations with management. Chiang left OMG in the spring of 2018 to spend more time with family in Australia. After reconnecting there for the past 1.5 years, Chiang told Campaign the time is right for him to return to Asia.
"The Greater North presents us with a combination of unique challenges and opportunities, which Dentsu Aegis Network is extremely well-positioned to capitalise on with our unparalleled market-specific offerings," Chiang added in a statement. "I look forward to taking our Greater North business forward.”