His departure, taking effect immediately without any period of 'gardening leave', was announced this morning by CEO of GroupM China Patrick Xu.
Industry sources told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Chen decided not to renew his contract at GroupM and may join Google China in a senior position. He was promoted to the newly-created CDO role on 7 May.
During his tenure, he has created a "formidable team of digital talent and market intelligence that has enabled GroupM agencies to provide cutting edge digital solutions and insights for clients, which in turn helped made the group the biggest digital media buyer in China", according to Xu.
Chen was involved in the investment of mLab, the development of mJoule, the incubation of GroupM's e-commerce solution, as well as the production of China At Your Fingertips video series, GroupM Interaction annual digital playbook, Digital+ and Digital Fringe conferences.
In the interim while GroupM seeks out a replacement for Chen, Xu along with Michael Song (general manager of business development at GroupM Interaction), Mickey Zhang (head of search and eCommerce at GroupM China) and Craig Zhang (managing director of mJoule) will take over his duties and responsibilities.