"KK and I have discussed for some time his ambition to try something new after a long and very successful 19 years with the group," said Mark Patterson, CEO GroupM Asia-Pacific. "I fully understand and support his brave and bold decision, and he will have my and the group's full support."
Patterson said he will start looking for a successor inside the group. "We have time for a smooth succession and transition and wanted to let our clients and people know at the earliest opportunity," Patterson told Campaign. “I want to consider internal candidates in Hong Kong and have a preference for a Hong Kong leader, but I want someone who would come forward and be hungry for this top role.”
Patterson praised Tsang for his bond with the group. “KK is in a class of his own in the business, and universally very highly regarded,” he said, adding that he believes he and Tsang will work together in different ways in the future, including the possibility that Tsang could stay on a part-time consultancy role after July.
"Joining WPP group 19 years ago was one of the best decisions I've made in my life," Tsang said. "I have found it very rewarding in terms of both professional achievement and friendship. It's been an amazing journey to witness the formation and the growth of Mindshare and GroupM. I'm thankful to have had great support from my teams, clients, partners and regional leadership. I wish and hope that GroupM will grow from strength to strength "
Prior to 1997 KK was at Ogilvy & Mather. He helped set up the Mindshare Hong Kong office and became the CEO of GroupM Hong Kong in 2006. In that role, Tsang helped to run the four agencies under GroupM as a tight-knit family of 250 and has built long-term client relationships including HSBC, PCCW, Ocean Park, L'Oreal, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Reported last November, Maggie Choi, another Hong Kong media veteran and former Asia-Pacific chief executive officer for OMD, joined Touchmedia, China’s in-taxi interactive media company, as managing director of its Hong Kong and International division.