Matthew Miller
Jan 12, 2021

PHD names Joey Zhao as China CEO

Previously COO, Zhao fills the role vacated by Anna Chitty in September.

Joey Zhao
Joey Zhao

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) agency PHD has promoted Joey Zhao to chief executive of its China operations, from his former post of chief operating officer.

The agency credits Zhao with an instrumental role in driving growth, operational efficiency and business transformation in the market, culminating in PHD China winning the media business for SAIC Volkswagen in December (see "PHD steers in SAIC Volkswagen media account").

Based in Shanghai, Zhao takes the role last held by Anna Chitty, whose departure was announced in September. He will report to Claudine Kwek, CEO of OMG in China, who led PHD China on an interim basis following Chitty's departure.

Zhao brings a refreshed mindset and a bold ambition that will unlock new opportunities, Kwek said in a statement. "Coupled with his diverse experience, he is well-placed to strengthen and optimise PHD China’s client-focused operating model, delivering incremental value for both our clients and the agency," she added. 

James Hawkins, CEO of PHD APAC, said Zhao's experience across multiple industries coupled with his knowledge of local market dynamics and culture makes him an "incredible source of inspiration for both our clients and our people".  

Prior to joining PHD China as COO, Zhao was a partner at an investment group with a focus on marketing technology. He has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of industries and categories, having worked for the Shanghai government, Shanghai Media Group, blue-chip multinational companies, consultancies and law firms in China.

“I am humbled by this promotion and by the same token, excited to lead the talented team here at PHD China," Zhao said. "I am very much looking forward to leveraging my experience and helping our clients make the leap in a rapidly changing business landscape.”

In related news broken by Campaign Asia-Pacific earlier today, PHD had taken part in a L'Oreal China media pitch won by Publicis Groupe.

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