Staff Reporters
Jan 25, 2013

SMG appoints COO for Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE - Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has promoted Ranganathan Somanathan to the newly created regional role of chief operating officer for Southeast Asia.

SMG appoints COO for Southeast Asia

The appointment will see Somanathan (pictured) spearheading the next phase of growth and development for the region. He will focus on SMG’s agency brands, operations and divisions, which include Starcom, MediaVest, Spark Communications and LiquidThread, across six key markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

To be based in Singapore, Somanathan will continue to report to Jeffrey Seah, country chair for Southeast Asia at VivaKi. “Ranga will partner me to drive new business growth, the development of our talent and capabilities, and the future-proofing of our operations in this key and thriving region in our global network,” Seah said.

Starcom and MediaVest/Optimedia in Malaysia will continue to be headed by Nick Drew and Wong Pi Yee, respectively.

Somanathan had previously led VivaKi Malaysia, which includes SMG and Optimedia Malaysia as CEO––a position he has held since July 2009––where he spearheaded the transformation of the Malaysian offices by fostering a digital culture.

He has been the president of the Media Specialist Association in Malaysia since 2010.

“I hope to help our people to scale greater heights as we focus and look toward bolstering our market-leading positions and capabilities, while continuing to build on our network’s Human Experience vision and promise to our clients,” Somanathan commented on his new role.

He has spent over a decade with SMG, holding various positions including vice-president of insights and analytics for Asia-Pacific. He was also the managing director of SMG’s Indonesian operations, which grew by 40 per cent under his leadership.

He had earlier headed the research and strategic planning function at SMG Malaysia, and worked with clients such as P&G, DiGi, Microsoft and Mead Johnson throughout his career.

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