Soon has no immediate plans for his next role, according to sources. It is believed that Soon is grooming a successor.
Soon first joined the agency in 2002 as business director. He left the company in 2004 for a role at Saatchi & Saatchi but returned in 2006 as managing director. He was named CEO in October 2011 and is in charge of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Earlier, he co-founded The adinc.com, a marketing solutions company.
Soon declined to comment for this story. Despite repeated calls, JWT and XM remained unavailable for comment.
Soon's decision to leave comes as a surprise as under his leadership, XM has been thriving. In the last couple of years, the network has acquired several companies including Designercity, Thomas Idea, Magnivate and more recently Sofresh, a digital creative agency in Vietnam. Soon has reportedly been interested in expanding into Australia and Korea and growing CRM, data and mobile units.
Rumours are swirling today that regional director Vince Lui is in talks with JWT about his future with the agency.
Lui heads up the consulting unit of the JWT company that oversees technology consulting, analytics, information architecture and user experience. On LinkedIn, Lui writes that he specialises in partnership management, digital marketing technology, business solutions consulting, experience management system, marketing automation, digital analytics and new business.
Update, 10 December, 9:45 am: JWT has named Nanda Ivens as CEO of XM Asia Pacific. Ivens served most recently as the CEO of XM Gravity, the Indonesian unit of XM Asia Pacific.
Ivens was previously VP of IndoPacific Edelman Indonesia’s digital, technology and consumer practice, and the Indonesia director of Edelman Digital. He also worked at Neo@Ogilvy, The Economist and Mindshare Interaction.