Shawn Lim
Apr 19, 2024

James Hawkins steps down as PHD APAC CEO

Hawkins leaves PHD after close to six years leading the agency, and there will be no immediate replacement for him.

James Hawkins
James Hawkins

James Hawkins, the chief executive for PHD in Asia Pacific, has resigned from his role, Campaign has learned. 

Campaign understands Hawkins’ departure after close to six years at the agency took staff by surprise when he informed them this week. 

There is no immediate replacement for Hawkins, who Campaign understands is not serving his six-month gardening leave. In the interim, Tony Harradine, CEO of Omnicom Media Group APAC, will oversee PHD in APAC and work with Guy Marks, the global CEO of PHD. 

When reached by Campaign, OMG confirmed Hawkins’ departure. 

“We would like to thank James for his contributions towards PHD's success in Asia Pacific,” said Harradine. “These achievements form a solid foundation for the agency to build upon while leveraging the agency as a platform model to chart its future in this evolving media landscape. We wish James all the best in his endeavours.” 

Hawkins said: “I feel privileged to have contributed to the rich PHD legacy and achieved so much with the brand in Asia Pacific. We have consistently punched way beyond our weight in new business, global awards and stand-out client satisfaction.

“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together during my tenure, from winning new business, strengthening existing client relationships to seeing growth across all key areas including business, creativity, effectiveness and DEI. It has been an incredible journey and I leave behind an agency that is going from strength to strength. I wish the most important asset, the people, all the very best.” 

Hawkins joined PHD in October 2018 from Dentsu where he was chief digital officer and managing director for APAC at Dentsu X. While at Dentsu, he was named in Campaign’s 40 under 40 in 2014. Hawkins spent seven years at Dentsu in Singapore after joining from DGM Asia.

At PHD, Hawkins looked after 16 markets and was assisted by Imogen Bourke, APAC strategy director, Amy Donovan, APAC chief client officer; and Sam Piller, APAC and global client leader. 

In 2023, PHD won key accounts like Visa in New Zealand and retained major clients like HSBC and SAIC Volkswagen. However, the agency lost clients such as Unilever and Google in Australia and New Zealand.

Campaign Asia

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