The transfer of Lee (pictured) partly fills the position of Carol Lam, who has a dual role of managing director and chief creative officer, and will depart in mid-August.
McCann’s spokesperson said the MD replacement will be announced in due course, while Lee will be responsible for strengthening and driving creative excellence across the Shanghai Group’s client list.
During his tenure at McCann Thailand, Lee has crafted creative campaigns for its international and local clients, scooping Cannes Lions, and awards at Spikes Clios, D&AD, The Work and LIAA. In 2011, McCann won the Best Film at the local Adman Awards and the Best Outdoor at the Bangkok Art Director’s Club (BAD Awards).
“Martin’s ability to grow, mentor and nurture his peers has led to impressive bench-strength within the Thai agency, leading to the appointment of Khun Santi Suwanvalaikorn and Khun Supachai Toemtechatpong, who’ll assume co-ECD roles at McCann Worldgroup Thailand,” said Monica White, CEO, McCann Worldgroup Thailand.
Originally from the UK, Lee has more than 28 years of advertising experience. He has spent 15 years in Asia across markets like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand, including a regional CD role for Y&R Singapore from 1999 to 2007.
“Martin’s proven track record for elevating the creative product and building depth of expertise will strengthen our positioning as we strive for creative excellence across all aspects of our operation,” said Jesse Lin, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Greater China, who came on board in April.
The agency added that Lee is a long-time McCann veteran, has worked in Greater China markets before and can also speak some Mandarin and Cantonese. He knows how to blend the best between east and west and fully respect local culture and talents, according to the agency.
Once Lee is on board, he and Lin will work together to find a suitable replacement to fill the ECD position, which Vincent Pang resigned in late June after six years of service.
In the past few months, McCann China has seen a number of senior-management changes. The agency hired Ellen Hou as chief strategic architect and culture officer. David Shen made a u-turn to become president of Greater China operations, replacing his replacement James Hammond early this month. And another long-term senior talent, Canon Wu, chief creative officer of Momentum Greater China, resigned and will be leaving in August.
McCann Worldgroup China handles many iconic international brands such as Coca-Cola, General Motors, L’Oreal, and Nestle.