In an internal memo sent this morning, McCann's vice president and chief executive officer of the Greater China region Jesse Lin said Tomaz Mok has "honourably retired" from McCann after an outstanding 36-year career.
According to Lin's memo in Chinese, Mok, long-time China chairman of the agency, "chose to retire" and "no longer holds the post of chairman of the company but will continue to act as a creative adviser to offer advice and suggestions for the development of McCann Erickson China".
Mok formally put forward his resignation with a three-month notice at the end of December 2016. His last official day at McCann was 31 March, according to him.
“Retirement is not entirely correct; I am not retiring but supporting young creatives in my new business," Mok said.
Mok started a creative hot shop of his own called Match (马马也) together with three other employees this February in the pursuit of a "second life". 10-percent of Match's funding is from Leo Digital Network's Amber Communications, while Mok contributed the rest of the capital himself.
One of the reasons behind the 'Match' name: Creativity means a good match of ideas, like how red wine matches red meat and champagne matches celebrations, explained Mok.
Mok added, "I am very lucky that my career at McCann is the most fruitful and most satisfying period in my life."
"The learned, hardworking, self-disciplined, rigorous Mok has become an important part of our entire McCann team," said Lin in a later press release, commenting on Mok who joined the agency in 1981.
Mok was part of the first batch of Chinese creatives from outside the mainland who entered the market in 1994, earning him a colloquial title as one of China's four 'advertising godfathers'.