Wunderman Thompson's APAC CEO Annette Male is departing to take up a hotly contested role leading Facebook's agency development team in the region, Campaign has learned.
The role was formerly filled by Neil Stewart, who retired in mid-May after more than six years leading the APAC agency practice. Campaign revealed in March that Facebook was approaching Singapore-based agency leaders to fill Stewart's role as well as considering internal candidates.
Five months later, Male has landed the role overseeing Facebook’s agency relationships in the region. She will start in October and report to Patrick Harris, VP of global agency development.
Male leaves Wunderman Thompson after two-and-a-half years leading the APAC region, where she has had the daunting task of integrating two formerly disparate networks into a united and competitive creative shop across 12 markets (see Wunderman Thompson's 2020 Agency Report Card). She was formerly APAC CEO at Digitas, prior to which she held senior roles at Digitas agency Kitcatt Nohr, Chi & Partners, Tequila London and TBWA\GGT.
In a comment sent to Campaign, Harris said Annette’s experience "will be an asset as we explore new ways to invest and enable agencies of all sizes to take advantage of our platforms and tools".
"The role of agencies has never been more important as clients adapt to the changing media landscape in pursuit of growth and digital transformation," Harris added.
Male commented: "I’m a huge advocate for agencies and the value they bring to clients businesses. I’m thrilled that I get to champion them within Facebook and support them in making the most out of the tools available to help them drive growth for clients."