Emily Tan
Aug 9, 2013

PHD China promotes Aaron Wild to CEO

SHANGHAI - Aaron Wild, managing director of PHD China, has stepped up to the post of CEO, replacing Mark Heap who has left to head MediaCom Asia-Pacific.

Aaron Wild
Aaron Wild

As reported in June,  Heap is moving to MediaCom to fill the role vacated by Alex Crowther, who is stepping down from his role as Asia-Pacific CEO of MediaCom and returing to the US at the end of the year. 

Wild starts in his new role on Monday, reporting to Doug Pearce, Omnicom Media Group's greater China CEO.

Wild joined PHD Shanghai from Mindshare Australia in 2010 to head up its Unilever business and has been instrumental in securing a further three appointments this year as part of Unilever's global review. Wild's industry experience stretches back two decades, 11 of which has been spent in China. 

In his new post, he is tasked with pumping greater energy and drive into PHD China's operations, Cheuk Chiang, CEO Asia-Pacific for Omnicom Media Group, told Campaign Asia-Pacific

"We determined Aaron was the best fit for the job based on his strength at building client relatonships, something he's very good at, and it's a skill set that's crucial for us to move the business forward," Chiang said. 

According to Pearce, the agency benchmarked Wild against candidates inside and outside of China, "and even after that, Aaron still came up as the best candidate". 

Wild's challenge is less about the recent departures of Heap and Ivy Ho, who left PHD China for ZenithOptimedia in June, said Chiang, but more about building on PHD's strong growth.

"We need to push a bit harder because we've got great momentum and now is the opportunity to really build on it," he said. "Aaron's just the sort of talent that will help inspire the team."

China's economic slowdown too represents an opportunity more than a challenge for PHD, said Chiang. "PHD is a challenger brand that thrives in difficult economic times," he said.

 

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