Lee confirmed with Campaign Asia-Pacific that he has resigned and will be leaving the agency in late March, “I will take a break first and figure out if I want to take on a management role,” he said.
Lee rejoined JWT Hong Kong from McCann in October 2012, along with copywriter Barbara Fu as co-ECD. Fu will stay on at JWT Hong Kong. Howie has relocated to Hong Kong this month and will work closely with Dennis Lam, GM of JWT Hong Kong.
At JWT Shanghai, Howie led the creative team on the agency's Ford business. Prior stints include JWT Tokyo, BBH Shanghai and Tokyo, Fallon Asia and Tribal DDB Singapore.
During Howie's time in China he helped create the 'Yulu' project for Johnnie Walker—a feature-length collaboration with Chinese director Jia Zhangke that won Campaign Asia-Pacific's ‘Campaign of the Year’ in 2011.
Lam said Howie's "proven success", regional experience and "international recognition" will be assets to the HK office's growing team.
"Clients today expect great ideas to work not only across media but across borders. I really look forward to working with the team here,” Howie said.
Last July, JWT announced a new leadership team in Hong Kong following the resignation of CEO Dennis Wong after two years at the helm. At that time the agency promoted Lam from client services director to GM, while long-serving JWT executive Mark Webster moved into a non-executive chairman role.
Last June, Bates CHI & Partners and JWT formed a joint venture to handle the HSBC account, with Conrad Chiu heading up the new operation.
Reported in July 2012, Y&R lured Sylvester Song back from JWT Hong Kong after one year.