Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Mar 7, 2016

Former Leo Burnett CEO Donald Chan named Havas China creative CEO

SHANGHAI - Havas China has appointed industry heavyweight Donald Chan (陈念端) as CEO of its creative operation, effective 28 March. Chan's last high-profile role was CEO of Leo Burnett China, a position he left over a year ago.

Donald Chan
Donald Chan

Chan spent the intervening year in some project-based consulting for startups. In his new role, he will spearhead Havas’ creative offering with a special focus on Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. He will report directly to Mason Lin (林名正), chairman of Havas Creative Group Greater China.

The China CEO role was empty (with Lin running the whole operation) since Edward Su (苏立) vacated his position in March 2015 to work for Youku Tudou.

In addition to managing Havas Worldwide China, Chan will also be responsible for leading key agency brands including Field Force, Havas Life Healthcare, Havas Worldwide Digital and Arnold Worldwide.

“Donald is a critical hire," Lin said. "He is an experienced leader with a track record of leading large agencies and a constant advocate of digital evolution in the industry."

Chan told Campaign Asia-Pacific that when he left Leo Burnett over a year ago, he "did look away from advertising" and "tried to do something new".

He spent a fair amount of time consulting for a couple of undisclosed startups, shuttling between Hong Kong and China.

Chan said he could have seen himself doing such work for a good while, but when Lin started talking to him about Havas, he became "quite inspired by the vision of the Havas global management about how they want to move things forward". 

"Maybe there’re still things I can do in advertising," he said. "I have no shame to say this [Havas] is not the biggest creative network, but it is completing its integrated structure in terms of digital and traditional. It also has a simpler and singular management system in place that has the mentality of trying to think and behave like an entrepreneurial company, and wanting to be more agile like a startup".

This structure can deliver truly innovative solutions demanded by today’s clients, he added.


Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Behind Spotify's new Southeast Asia campaign

EXCLUSIVE: Campaign talks to Jan-Paul Jeffrey, Spotify’s head of marketing, on the streamer's latest regional campaign for Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.

2 days ago

Tech MVP 2022: Sunil Naryani, Dentsu

MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL: Chief product officer Sunil Naryani has been instrumental in elevating the product offerings from Dentsu and driving radical collaborations across market product leaders.

2 days ago

Why purposeful creativity is more important than ...

Why do we still rush to come up with a once-in-a-lifetime brilliant stroke of genius that had zero impact on anyone’s life or business, and then proudly stand on a stage receiving accolades for our achievements? MediaMonks' APAC ECD ponders this question and more.

2 days ago

Here's Google's plan to to help advertisers manage ...

David Temkin, senior director of product management, ads privacy and user trust at Google, who is leading the charge on preserving ad targeting and measurement while tracking restrictions loom, discusses these shifts.