Newman, who left McCann last September, will be based out of Singapore and will report to Aaron Lau, president of international and CEO of Greater China.
He also reports to Lotta Malm-Hallqvist, global vice-president and global chief growth officer for Cheil Worldwide. Malm-Hallqvist has likewise recently left McCann, where she was chief growth officer for four years.
Newman joins Cheil’s global growth team, which includes recent hires Cat Davis in London and Wassim Daniel in Dubai, led by Malm-Hallqvist.
“I am so excited to work with Richard again," said Malm-Hallqvist. "His proven track record and approach to growth make him one of the best new business leaders in the industry.”
In this newly created role, Newman is responsible for implementing and refining regional growth strategies, as well as building collaboration across Cheil's global network of companies, which includes Iris Worldwide, Cheil Peng Tai, BMB, McKinney and The Barbarian Group.
Cheil's aggressive acquisition and expansion strategy was a major draw for Newman, who was headhunted by Cheil for this role, he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
"Critically the strong digital and data analytics capabilities, based out of the Seoul HQ, were also a strong pull and the final nugget was how exciting, having been in APAC for nearly five years, to be actually driving the growth for an Asian agency brand," he added.
Newman's immediate duties will be to ramp up Cheil's efforts across Southeast Asian markets, particularly in the largest growth markets, such as Vietnam and Indonesia.