McCann & Spencer gets new GM as Dave McCaughan departs

HONG KONG - Three weeks after renaming its Hong Kong operation to spotlight Spencer Wong, McCann is making more changes, bringing in a new GM as current MD Dave McCaughan departs the network after 28 years.

L-R: McCaughan, Kong
L-R: McCaughan, Kong

Florence Wai-Kwan Kong, previously director of client services at TBWA Tequila Hong Kong, will become general manager of the agency that is now called McCann & Spencer Hong Kong in mid- March.

McCaughan, who was named MD of the office in 2013, will be leaving McCann after close to 30 years. In addition, Richard McCabe, regional planning director for McCann Worldgroup Asia-Pacific, will relocate from Singapore and join the Hong Kong management team in March.

Contacted today, McCaughan told Campaign Asia-Pacific he would pursue some speaking engagements but would not comment on his next step after that. 

"I got into this job 28 years ago literally by accident—didn't even know it was an agency," McCaughan said. "Over the years I have been fortunate because the company has allowed me to do what I want. I have a lot of stories because McCann has let me go out and find them."

Charles Cadell, president of McCann Worldgroup Asia-Pacific, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that both Kong's appointment and the renaming of the agency reflect the fact that more than 50 per cent of the business in Hong Kong comes from local clients. Thus it makes strategic sense to have a strong Hong Kong-Chinese management team and to highlight the presence of Wong, the "leading creative light" in the market, Cadell said.

At the same time, McCann serves several regional clients clients out of Hong Kong. McCabe's relocation will bring him closer to those clients, and he will also lead the Hong Kong planning operation, giving that unit a boost, Cadell said.  

Altogether, the changes create a best-in-class offering with the right balance for local and MNC clients, said Cadell, who went on to praise McCaughan for the role played throughout his long career at McCann and as MD in Hong Kong since December 2013.

"Dave came in and put in some practices that we needed to run MNC businesses and stabilise the business," Cadell said. "He did that. So essenailly that role is now finished, and we need a strong local person at the centre."

McCaughan himself cited bringing in more global insights and research capabilities, the agency's awards performance, and its new work for Cathay Pacific as achievement during his time as MD.

McCaughan joined McCann in Sydney in 1986 as national planning director and has held various senior roles including regional planning director, president of McCann Thailand and general manager of McCann Tokyo. He was also heavily involved with the network's Truth Central division.

Kong will be responsible for overseeing the agency’s business portfolio, which includes L’Oreal, Darlie and Wyeth, in partnership with Wong, the agency said. Kong has been with TBWA since 2004, where she has led integrated accounts in banking, retail, B2B, and FMCG including Standard Chartered Bank, Levi’s, Wyeth, and Huawei. Earlier, she held marketing communications roles with Harbour Plaza North Point and Le Meridien Cyberport. Prior to that she was at Saatchi & Saatchi for four years. 

McCabe joined McCann in 2012 from Publicis.


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