Dentsu Malaysia has named Audrey Chong as its new CEO effective 1st October 2023. Audrey will be taking over from Kien Eng Tan who will retire on 19th October, after having served as CEO since 2021.
Chong, whose departure as CEO of Universal McCann (UM) Malaysia was announced on Monday this week, is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience across media, creative, strategy and digital marketing, as well as an in-depth understanding of the Malaysian market. Prior to Chong’s time at UM, she has held roles as the chief investment officer for IPG Mediabrands, as well as positions at M&C Saatchi Malaysia, DiGi Telecommunications, PHD Media and Starcom.
In her remit as CEO at Dentsu Malaysia, Chong will be responsible for growing and continuing the business transformation imperative, as well as driving integration across practices. She will report to Sanjay Bhasin, CEO of Dentsu Southeast Asia and will be part of the SEA leadership team.
Chong takes the reins from Kien Eng Tan–who was appointed CEO in February 2021, and has been credited with seeing the agency through its post-pandemic recovery stages, as well as key account wins including Axiata, MHTC and Oatside. Considered an industry stalwart, Tan’s career has encompassed multiple award-winning campaigns for major brands including Petronas’ Merdeka Day and Samsung Galaxy’s S10: Space Launch. Prior to Dentsu, Tan was CEO of Publicis Groupe Malaysia and Leo Burnett Malaysia.
Speaking of her new appointment, Chong said in a release: “I look forward to joining Dentsu Malaysia and foresee exciting times ahead. I strongly believe in Dentsu strategy and the direction they are moving in, with new products, integrated servicing, and innovation to meet the market’s needs. They have strong momentum off the back of some significant market wins, and I believe Dentsu is poised to break away from the pack and build new growth and industry opportunities.”
Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, Dentsu Southeast Asia commented: “I really wanted a hands-on practitioner who understood the market challenges and nuances; someone who could build upon the wins and momentum Kien and his team have created which have mostly been large local giants requiring deep understanding of the dynamic Malaysian market. Audrey’s reputation speaks for itself. She’s built a solid media agency now ranked number one in RECMA. Couple that with her experience driving creativity through media she has a competitive skillset that will drive the business to new heights. She’s also a warm, intelligent, caring person who will make a great addition to our strong local Malaysian agency and our Southeast Asia leadership team.”
Bhasin also thanked Tan for his dedication and passion over the last two-and-a-half years.
“I’ve had an incredible journey with Dentsu Malaysia and I’m happy to have spent my time here in the last few years of my agency career," shared Tan. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity I have had to lead such a talented and creative team and I am confident that the spirit of innovation and passion for creativity will continue to thrive. The industry is fast changing, and I eagerly look forward to seeing great campaigns under the guidance of our new leadership."