Willis (pictured) moved to LinkedIn in June from her role as global accounts and agencies director, Greater Asia, with Microsoft Advertising. She continues to be based in Hong Kong and reports to global head of agency relations Jon Williams, based in New York. She also has a dotted-line reporting relationship with Oliver LeGrand, head of marketing solutions for Asia-Pacific and Japan.
While LinkedIn has had a client solutions team in the region for some time, Willis is pioneering its agency solutions offering.
"Agencies are very important in what we do at LinkedIn, and while we have sales teams in place that work with clients and agencies on a more transactional basis, there is a need to improve our relations at a senior level and build a more integrated and strategic relationship," said Willis.
Over the coming year Willis will be building a team with agency-specific roles, mirroring that of the global counterparts who have team members responsible for WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and so on.
The advantage of this approach, she said, is that the agency groups have someone at LinkedIn "exclusively looking out for their interest" and who will be in a position to develop programmes specific to these holding companies.
"While we've been growing and developing a solid base in the region, there's still room to work in this area. The agencies have expressed interest but until now we've lacked the manpower to give them enough attention," said Willis.