Emily Tan
Mar 7, 2013

Zayn Khan leaves FutureBrand, Reiter steps up as COO

SHANGHAI - Zayn Khan has resigned from his post as CEO, Asia-Pacific with FutureBrand after less than a year.

Reiter has been promoted to COO for Asia-Pacific
Reiter has been promoted to COO for Asia-Pacific

Patrick Smith, CEO of FutureBrand Worldwide, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Khan had left at the start of the year, that his reasons were personal and that Smith was unaware of Khan's future plans. "I think it is fair to say he was having trouble settling in after relocating," Smith said.

Attempts to contact Khan for comment were unsuccessful. 

Khan joined FutureBrand last May and relocated to Shanghai for the job. Prior to this appointment, he was partner and CEO with Thinkscape Malaysia, based out of Singapore. 

Khan's role will be taken over by Sarah Reiter, who has been promoted to the role of COO, Asia-Pacific from her previous post as CEO of Southeast Asia.

"She [Reiter] has been extraordinarily successful in building our Southeast Asian business out of Singapore," Smith said. "Her new role will enable her to drive some key initiatives that are part of our Asia regional strategy."

Reiter will bring the capabilities and best practices she successfully established in Singapore to her new role. Among the first of these are her initiatives around talent, having grown the regional team from 12 to 45 over the past two years. 

Her latest appointment was Karine Uehara as creative director for Southeast Asia. Uehara was previously as creative director at FutureBrand's Sao Paolo office. “Karine is well known and highly regarded and her expertise will ensure the continued quality and value we provide our clients," said Reiter. 

As an award-winning creative, Uehara (pictured right) has received national and international design awards from Abre, Pentawards, Idea and RedDot. She is also a teacher at Miami Ad School ESPM. 

"I've worked exceptionally hard to cultivate the team," Reiter said. "My personal philosophy is that leadership and talent management should come from within the business and from management itself."

With a regional role under her belt, Reiter plans to expand her talent procurement and development programme to all the offices in the region and to incorporate a talent exchange initiative aimed at driving career growth for FutureBrand employees. 

Reiter has also had success with expanding FutureBrand's capabilities in Singapore to include activation, crowd co-creation and crowd-sourced brand strategy development. "We've had well-recognised success within the network for our work with clients such as UOB and Swire, and I aim to take this more broadly across the region, along with our cornerstone product, Foresight—a tool that helps CMPs and CEOs understand the future of their product category."

Finally, Reither has a personal ambition to invest more in women within the industry. "The big brands in the marcomms space need to commit a lot more towards driving a focus of women in business leadership particularly in the creative space."


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