'NewCo' leadership takes shape in SEA

MEC chiefs in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia to lead newly merged agency with Maxus in their markets, while Singapore to be led by local Maxus leader.

Clockwise from top left: Arup Bansal, Maria Luz “Malu” Vasallo, Desh Balakrishnan, Michelle Achuthan, Christina Vacharanetr
Clockwise from top left: Arup Bansal, Maria Luz “Malu” Vasallo, Desh Balakrishnan, Michelle Achuthan, Christina Vacharanetr

Update: GroupM yesterday (26 July) announced that Ajay Gupte, managing director of MEC Indonesia, will be MD of 'NewCo' in Indonesia. At the same time, Partha Kabi was appointed MD of Mediacom Indonesia. 

GroupM announced on 4 July that Desh Balakrishnan will be MD of 'NewCo' in Singapore. He was previously Maxus’ MD for nearly three years, and prior to that was with Mindshare Singapore, AGI Communications and Chuo Senko Advertising. Allison Coley, current MD of MEC, will stay on during the merger before transitioning into a new regional role in NewCo.

Previous story follows:

Christina Vacharanetr in Thailand, Maria Luz “Malu” Vasallo in the Philippines, Michelle Achuthan in Malaysia and Arup Bansal in Vietnam, all managing directors of MEC in their respective markets, have been appointed MDs of the new, combined MEC & Maxus agency, currently known as ‘NewCo’, in each country. 

All four new roles begin when 'NewCo' is formally launched in January.

Vacharanetr has headed up MEC in Thailand since 2015, after four years working as Maxus' managing director.

Vasallo has led MEC Philippines since 2010, and has more than 20 years of strategic planning and business development experience in various roles in media communications.

Achuthan has been head of MEC Malaysia since November 2015, having previously been managing director of BBDO Malaysia for four-and-a-half years. With more than 27 years’ industry experience, Achuthan has also worked at J Walter Thompson and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Bansal has more than 15 years' experience in brand marketing, having previously held senior marketing roles at Zenith Optimedia Vietnam and Tata Teleservices & Waterhealth. He joined MEC Vietnam as managing director in August 2014.

Of each leader, Tim Castree, global CEO of MEC and 'NewCo', said: “Under [their respective] leadership, I am confident that we have the right team in place to truly blend the best of MEC and Maxus and make 'NewCo'  a formidable future-facing agency.”

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