GroupM is promoting Himanshu Shekhar, currently CEO of Mindshare Southeast Asia, to take over from Ed Thesiger as CEO of GroupM Indonesia effective 1 January.
Shekhar joined GroupM in Indonesia in March 2010 as MD for the Unilever business. He was promoted to CEO of Mindshare Indonesia in December 2011 and then to his current position in 2015.
Thesiger, who serves as CEO for Vietnam as well as Indonesia, will be relocating to the UK at the end of March to set up his own consulting business after a transition period with Shekhar, according to GroupM. Thesiger came to the region in 2010 with GSK in Malaysia and joined GroupM as Indonesia CEO in 2012. He added Vietnam to his remit in early 2016.
Searches are underway for a new head in Vietnam and to fill Shakhar's current role, the company said.
"Indonesia continues to be a key growth market for us, and I am delighted that we have been able to promote from within for this important leadership position," said Mark Patterson, CEO of GroupM APAC. He added that Shekhar has a proven track record, and that his depth of experience and industry relationships are "second to none" in the market.
"I would also like to thank Ed for his energy, passion and outstanding leadership over the past seven years," Patterson added. "We are sorry to see him leave the region and wish him every success on his new venture back in the UK."
Amrita Randhawa, CEO of Mindshare APAC, said Shekhar has built Mindshare into "a titan of an organization in Indonesia", adding that thanks to his knowledge of the market and clients’ core needs "there is no one better suited to step into the GroupM leadership position".
Thesiger called it an "absolute privilege" to lead GroupM over the past seven years. "Himanshu has been a cornerstone of the team for the duration of my tenure, and I look forward to seeing him drive the business on to the next level in the coming years,” he added.
Shekhar acknowledged the "massive responsibility" he is taking on, but said the GroupM agencies have "some of the brightest minds working".
"Today, Indonesia’s media is among the most vibrant globally," he said. "We have global innovation originating here and best practices taking shape in some areas. Our global networks have been deeply committed to this already, and I am excited to add my efforts to this journey."