Nikita Mishra
Jun 4, 2024

GroupM names new Singapore CEO

Arshan Saha, the APAC CEO of GroupM Nexus, will take over the newly created role as part of a dual remit.

GroupM names new Singapore CEO

Less than a week after GroupM’s leadership overhaul in Hong Kong, which saw the departure of chief executive Alice Chow, Mindshare’s managing director Irene Tsui, GroupM Hong Kong's chief financial officer Carlton Kwan, and EssenceMediaCom’s APAC chief commercial officer Gilles Detanger, the agency has made yet another key announcement.

Arshan Saha, the GroupM Nexus APAC chief executive, has been given an expanded remit also to helm GroupM in Singapore as chief executive, effective immediately.

GroupM Nexus was formed in April 2022 with the vision of uniting GroupM’s addressable content and TV, AI technology (Copilot), and omnichannel solutions from Finecast, Xaxis, and GroupM Services into a single unit. Saha was appointed APAC CEO of GroupM Nexus in August 2022, at the time he was serving as chief executive for Xaxis. He was the founding member of Xaxis’ regional team. For over a decade, he led the expansion of Xaxis into 16 markets.

In his current role as CEO of GroupM Singapore, Saha will oversee the growth of WPP’s data arm, Choreograph, and work closely with agency leaders at Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediaCom to drive business development.

Given Singapore’s strategic position as an APAC hub, Saha will work closely with GroupM’s Southeast Asia chief executive, Himanshu Shekhar, who oversees the media agency's operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Staff has been informed of Saha’s elevation on June 4.

Mark Patterson, GroupM’s global COO, praised Saha’s leadership and commitment to client success through media excellence and innovation.

“Arshan has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his time at GroupM and has played a key role in helping to build the industry’s most advanced activation offering in the region. As Singapore’s role in the region and our overall business continues to grow, we know Arshan’s collaborative approach and commitment to the success of our clients through media excellence and innovation will continue to deliver competitive advantages for our clients.” 

Arshan Saha, CEO, GroupM Singapore and CEO, GroupM Nexus, APAC, added: “GroupM’s offer and business in Singapore has never been stronger. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to build on our positive momentum and leverage the innovation and creativity that is synonymous with this market to fuel growth for our clients and shape the next era of media in the Asia Pacific.” 

The news comes as the agency is undergoing changes in several markets.

After reorganising the regional leadership in April 2023, which saw the departure of the APAC chief executive Ashutosh Srivastava and the formation of four clusters:  Greater China and North Asia (Korea and Japan), led by Patrick Xu at the time, South Asia, led by Prasanth (“PK”) Kumar   Southeast Asia, led by Himanshu Shekhar and Australia and New Zealand, led by Aimee Buchanan.

But since then, Patrick Xu stepped down earlier in February, after 10 years with WPP, following news of an alleged bribery scandal in Shanghai naming multiple GroupM executives.  Xu's role was then split and replaced by existing WPP senior executives, Rupert McPetrie (CEO of EssenceMediacom APAC), who took over as GroupM China CEO alongside his existing remit, and Chris Reitermann, who took on president for WPP China in addition to his current responsibilities as APAC co-CEO for Ogilvy.

The agency has repeatedly said the decision is not a cost-saving exercise but a drive to simplify the business structure and remove layers, similar to a change in other parts of the world that saw GroupM EMEA chief Demet Ikiler move on in 2023, with Josh Krichefski leading a combined UK and EMEA mandate.

As reported by Campaign earlier, GroupM Taiwan is undergoing a transition as well, with Jimmy Kuo set to become the new CEO. Kuo, currently the managing director of L’Atelier, previously held the same position at Mindshare in Shanghai. He will succeed Susan Chao, who has been the country's chief executive since April 2018.

Campaign Asia

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