Staff Reporters
Dec 19, 2023

VML unveils new Asia-Pacific leadership lineup

The soon-to-be-merged WPP super agency has selected who will lead its individual markets across ANZ, Southeast Asia and East Asia, while South Asia leadership will be decided in Q1 2024.

VML unveils new Asia-Pacific leadership lineup

VML has announced who will lead its individual markets across Asia-Pacific's varied sub-regions. The announcement comes two months after WPP first announced its intention to merge VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson into a single super agency to be known as VML by the start of 2024. 

At that time, the agency already named Yi-Chung Tay of VMLY&R and Audrey Kuah of Wunderman Thompson as APAC Co-CEOs of the newly-formed VML. In an exclusive follow up interview with Campaign published in November, VML's global chief executives elaborated on their process of selecting individual market leaders, noting they were expected to be announced in a matter of weeks. 

With more than 5,000 employees across 25 offices in 13 separate APAC markets, VML says its newly selected leadership outlined below have strong local knowledge and deep expertise in its three focal service areas of customer experience, brand experience and commerce to serve its clients in the region, including Ford, The Coca Cola Company, HSBC, Unilever, Nestle, GSK, Zespri and others. 

Here is the newly restructured leadership for VML:

Australia & New Zealand (ANZ)

  • Tom Tearle, VMLY&R ANZ CEO, is appointed to the role of CEO, VML ANZ. 
  • Gavin Bain, Wunderman Thompson CEO for Australia, moves to the role of VML chief consulting officer, ANZ and managing cirector, Perth, Australia.
L-R: Tom Tearle, Gavin Bain

Southeast Asia

  • Nimesh Desai, Wunderman Thompson CEO for Singapore, has been appointed as VML CEO, Singapore. 
  • Rhys Taylor, VMLY&R managing director, Singapore, takes on the role of VML chief client officer, Singapore
  • Samir Gupte, CEO, Wunderman Thompson, Indonesia, has been appointed CEO, VML Indonesia.
  • Kenni Loh, CEO, VMLY&R Malaysia, has been appointed CEO, VML Malaysia.
  • Golda Roldan, CEO, Wunderman Thompson, Philippines, has been appointed CEO, VML Philippines
  • Parattajariya Jalayanteja, CEO Wunderman Thompson, Thailand has been appointed CEO, VML Thailand.
  • Vietnam: Ha Nguyen, VMLY&R CEO, Vietnam, has been appointed CEO, VML Vietnam.
Clockwise from top left: Samir Gupte, Golda Roldan, Parattajariya Jalayanteja, Kenni Loh, Ha Nguyen, Rhys Taylor, Nimesh Desai

East Asia

  • Kevin Zhu, VMLY&R China CEO, has been appointed CEO VML, China
  • Carter Chow, Wunderman Thompson CEO for Greater China, steps into the role of president, VML China.
  • Maggie Wong, CEO, Wunderman Thompson, Hong Kong, has been appointed CEO, VML Hong Kong.
  • Ichiro Ota, CEO, VML & Ogilvy Japan remains in his position
  • Akira Suzuki, CEO, Wunderman Thompson Japan, moves into the role of COO, VML Japan.
  • Even Teng, CEO, Wunderman Thompson, Taiwan has been appointed CEO, VML, Taiwan.


Clockwise from top left: Kevin Zhu, Carter Chow, Maggie Wong, Even Teng, Akira Suzuki, Ichiro Ota

South Asia

In South Asia, VML says it is taking more time to ensure its teams and clients in India have the most capable leaders, this will be announced in Q1 2024. 

“We are thrilled to introduce our new APAC leadership team, who represent the cream-of-the-crop across two of the most awarded creative agencies in the region," Audrey Kuah, co-CEO of VML APAC, said in a release.  

Added co-CEO Yi-Chung Tay: “Working closely with our leaders across our APAC network, we are well positioned to provide the best possible solutions to our clients’ most pressing business problems...".

Campaign Asia

Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

‘Creators are the new Hollywood,’ declares YouTube ...

Neal Mohan discussed how creators are driving growth in YouTube viewing on connected TV as part of the platform’s creator-heavy pitch during upfronts week.

1 day ago

Whisper unveils new phase of #KeepGirlsInSchool to ...

The latest poignant film seeks to normalise periods as healthy changes, empowering young girls to reshape their narratives around puberty.

1 day ago

IAS launches 'Election Lab' to help marketers ...

With major political events, marketers must be wary of a rise in news-related misinformation and risky content to protect brand reputation.

1 day ago

Google is fully embracing its AI era

Tech giant’s AI model Gemini will soon allow users to interact with it across Gmail and mobile apps, including a live voice chat feature and several multimodal advancements.