GroupM restructures in Hong Kong, senior leaders exit

The departures are linked to GroupM’s ongoing ‘synergy project’ under GroupM CEO Christian Juhl's remit, announced last year. Additionally, a new chief executive has been appointed in Taiwan.

L-R: GroupM's Hong Kong CEO Alice Chow, Mindshare's managing director for Hong Kong Irene Tsui
L-R: GroupM's Hong Kong CEO Alice Chow, Mindshare's managing director for Hong Kong Irene Tsui

A number of senior leaders have departed from GroupM Hong Kong, Campaign has learned from sources close to the matter. 

Amongst those exiting are Alice Chow, GroupM Hong Kong CEO, Irene Tsui, managing director, Mindshare Hong Kong, Carlton Kwan, chief financial officer, GroupM Hong Kong and Gilles Detanger, chief commercial officer for EssenceMediaCom for APAC. Alice Chow took over as CEO from Caroline Chan in December 2022, while Irene Tsui made the move from DDB to her current role in March 2022.

Sources tell Campaign the announcement was made via an internal email by Michael Beecroft, the CEO for North East Asia, on Monday. More departures are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

The changes are said to be part of a wider restructuring exercise to simplify the leadership structure in the market, as part of the 'synergy project' shared by GroupM CEO Christian Juhl and reported by Campaign.

Synergy is understood to be part of WPP’s wider push to drive operational efficiencies via the creation of VML and Burson, as well as the simplification of GroupM, as announced at WPP’s Capital Markets Day, and reiterated to Campaign by WPP CEO Mark Read in October 2023.

It is understood from sources however, that Gilles Detanger's (CCO, EssenceMediaCom APAC) departure is not linked with the above.

Earlier this year, GroupM China and WPP country manager Patrick Xu stepped down after 10 years with WPP, following news of an alleged bribery scandal in Shanghai naming multiple GroupM executives, as reported by Campaign at the time.
 
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.

Rupert McPetrie (left) and Chris Reitermann (right)

GroupM Taiwan is also undergoing changes. They are preparing to welcome a new CEO, Jimmy Kuo, who previously served as the managing director at Mindshare in Shanghai. Kuo will be taking over from Susan Chao, the longstanding country chief executive since April 2018.

GroupM has confirmed the news and issued the following statement to Campaign:

"GroupM is pleased to confirm the appointment of Jimmy Kuo as CEO for the Greater China Region in Taiwan. He will relocate full-time to Taipei in July. Currently, Jimmy holds the position of managing director at L’Atelier, which is based in Shanghai. Over the next few months, he will work closely with his successor at L’Atelier to ensure a smooth transition."

Mindshare Shanghai's MD Jimmy Kuo to take up GroupM Taiwan CEO role

More as the story develops.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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