Matthew Miller
Sep 13, 2016

McCann Worldgroup Singapore announces restructuring

Agency names new CEO as it integrates McCann and MRM; says move unrelated to OCBC pitch.

L-R: Nick Handel, Rob Doswell
L-R: Nick Handel, Rob Doswell

SINGAPORE - McCann Worldgroup Singapore is uniting McCann and MRM under Nick Handel as CEO, effective October 1.

Handel, currently managing director of MRM Singapore, will lead a restructured organisation "seamlessly uniting" McCann and its sister digital and direct agency.

Rob Doswell, who has since mid-2014 held the twin roles of McCann Singapore CEO and regional managing director of Craft, the group's production and adaptation unit, will now focus exclusively on Craft. 

A spokesperson for the agency said the changes have been in the works since early summer, and are not a result of McCann declining to pitch for the OCBC account. The agency is doing everything it can to reassign staffers to other teams as the work for that client winds down, the spokesperson added.

The leadership team, headed by Handel, will include both current and new employees:

  • Creative will be jointly led by Dante Abelarde, creative director, MRM, and Peter Hibberd, creative director, McCann Singapore.
  • Brendon Chase, formerly director of user experience and performance for MRM, becomes director of strategy, MRM and McCann.
  • Matteo Peirce, previously brand strategist for APAC at Infiniti, joins as strategy director.
  • Michelle Tsui, previously Greater China CFO at Saatchi & Saatchi, joins as CFO.
  • Michelle Wong, previously business director at Water's Edge, joins as business director.

“The unification of MRM//McCann’s best-in-market capability with McCann’s pedigree and standing all under Nick’s leadership will add significant breadth and depth to our client needs in Singapore and the region," Charles Cadell, president, McCann Worldgroup APAC, said in a statement. 

McCann understands the need to invest further in technology and data-driven marketing, Handel said. "To that end, our vision was to drive improved collaboration between the disciplines, but without jeopardising the integrity of our specialist McCann Worldgroup agencies: MRM//McCann, McCann Health, Craft and McCann,” he added.

Craft is experiencing strong business growth across the region, as well as globally, with an expanding portfolio of clients, according to the company. "As clients look for further efficiencies and seek simplified ways to drive consistent messaging across markets and channels, the Craft business model, with full production capabilities, becomes more and more important," said Doswell.

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