Isobar China Group is promoting Alvin Huang from managing director to CEO and Chris Chen, currently CEO and executive creative director of Trio Isobar, to a newly created role as chief creative officer for the group, effective January 1.
Huang will take over the CEO role from Jane Lin-Baden, who held it from 2013 and retained it when she was promoted to APAC CEO in 2016. He will report to Lin-Baden and Phil Teeman, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network China.
In addition to expanding Isobar’s capabilities and driving growth, the company said he will focus on enhancing collaboration between the group's six agencies in China and "fostering more integration within the teams at Dentsu Aegis Network China". The group's six agencies in the market are:
- Isobar, led by CEO Grace Liu
- OMP-Linked by Isobar, led by CEO Jeffery Ding
- Verawom-Linked by Isobar, led by CEO Jack Wang
- Verystar-Linked by Isobar, led by CEO Milan Jiang
- Isobar Commerce, led by two co-managing directors Florian Legendre and Patrick Deloy
- Trio Isobar, previously led by Chen; no replacement as of now
Chen will "integrate and lead" the group's creative teams to deliver quality work and "enhance the creative team culture beyond day-to-day client engagements", the company said. He will report to Huang.
Huang has been with Isobar since 2004 and has more than 20 years of experience. In addition to MD, he has been managing partner for integrated media for the group and MD of Isobar’s Shanghai and Beijing offices.
Chen, who has 26 years of experience in the industry, founded Trio Digital in 1999, before it was acquired by Isobar in 2013. He was named Greater China Agency Head of the Year in Campaign's 2016 Agency of the Year Awards.
Lin-Baden noted in a release that the group’s revenue has grown sixfold in five years, and said the next phase of growth will require strong integration, celebrating creativity and consulting. She called Huang a well-respected leader who "has a full heart for clients and staff, always embraces innovation, and never takes the credit for himself". Chen, she added, is an "amazing and influential" creative leader who nurtures young talent and can build a strong creative culture.
"In my new role, I plan to integrate more of Isobar’s talent and capabilities, to more openly embrace media platforms and technical partners, and to grasp the potential of innovation in the Chinese market," Huang said. Added Chen, "We need to create even more popular and influential and disruptive work, and we need to permeate creative thinking into every department and every aspect of our business."