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David Brain

Edelman APAC lead David Brain leaves role as Bob Grove steps up

David Brain, president and CEO of Edelman’s Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa business has left the company. In a blog post announcing his exit, Brain revealed his initial decision to leave and named Bob Grove as his successor.

He added that he was leaving due to personal reasons. This follows 13 years in the company where he was in charge of 24 offices across 13 markets, and over 1,500 employees. According to his profile on Edelman’s website, Brain (pictured) ran Edelman’s standalone Asia Pacific business from 2011 to 2013 and doubled its size.

Prior to that he ran the firm’s EMEA business while based in London and also more than doubled its size. He first joined Edelman in January 2004 to run its Europe business from London and has also done work for clients such as Unilever, Heineken and Jim Beam.

Bob Grove, CEO, Edelman North Asia, is currently overseeing 10 offices across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Previously, Grove led Edelman’s Southeast Asia operations for eight years. According to Edelman, the agency’s Southeast Asia branch grew by ten times under his leadership.

“Leaving this firm will be hard emotionally, but the decision was a very easy one to take in the end. Sometimes you just know. I would like to thank Richard Edelman and Matt Harrington for their support and trust over the years. And to all my friends in this brilliant firm, I will be cheering you on from the sidelines,” Brain added.

Edelman recently appointed Rupen Desai as executive vice chairman, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APACMEA) effective immediately and based in Singapore. He was reporting to Brain. Desai was previously APAC regional president for Lowe + Partners and will lead the agency to secure and partner clients across the region.

In Southeast Asia, the agency also hired former general manager at Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore Celevel Butler as managing director, integrated brand, SEA.

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