Rahul Sachitanand
Mar 1, 2021

Sharlene Wu replaces Jeff Kwek as CEO of Grey China

Former Proximity China CEO replaces Jeff Kwek, whose stint lasted only 18 months, due to family reasons, Campaign understands.

Sharlene Wu
Sharlene Wu

Grey Group has appointed Sharlene Wu as the CEO of Grey Group China. She will work with Nirvik Singh (Global COO and President International, Grey Group) and will lead Grey Advertising, as well as be responsible for the integration of Grey DPI, Grey Star Echo and Grey Easycom, Campaign can reveal. She replaces Jeff Kwek, whose stint lasted only 18 months, it is understood, due to family reasons. 

Most recently, she was CEO of Proximity China, where she spent 13 years. Wu will be responsible for driving the agency’s overall strategic vision and growth plan, furthering business transformation, and providing oversight across key clients and businesses. 

On her appointment, Wu said , “I’m excited to lead a strategic and digital-focused Grey Group in China, most importantly, we share the same belief that creativity can solve business problems. We have a great team in place to deliver innovative and creative work that will drive the growth of our clients’ brands and businesses.”

Wu began her career in 2000 with WPP’s JWT Wings Taiwan and then Ogilvy. Following a short stint with JWT Shanghai in 2006, she then joined BBDO Shanghai in 2007 as business director , which marked the beginning of her career with Omnicom group.

Starting as general manager Proximity Shanghai, she rose through the ranks and in 2015, was named managing director (MD) for both BBDO and Proximity Shanghai. Here she built and oversaw specialty teams across digital planning, data analytics, social media, and digital production whilst managing client accounts such as Adidas, Visa, Master Kong, Tencent and Alibaba.

As MD, BBDO & Proximity, Wu set up the social media team that led to the Master Kong Beverages and Alibaba Olympic campaign AOR wins and the digital AOR wins of several clients including, Estee Lauder, Shiseido and Adidas. During her tenor, she was also responsible for overseeing award-winning work for Visa, Master Kong and P&G.

Wu was recognised for her success with a promotion to CEO of Proximity China in 2017.

Under Wu’s leadership, the agency won Gold at the 2019 Effie Awards Greater China and scored a Grand Prix at the Great Wall Awards. Proximity Shanghai office was ranked No. 34 globally by WARC 100 and named TOP 3 for Most Ideal Digital Agency in the R3 China 2020 Agency Survey report.

In May 2020, Wu was named CEO following the merger of Proximity and RAPP in China.

On Wu's appointment, Singh said, “she is a seasoned professional with experience across many industries and categories and I am certain, along with our existing China leadership team, will create a powerhouse offering for our clients." 

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