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Rueben Anthony_XM

Mirum regional MD Rueben Anthony exits

Rueben Anthony (pictured), regional managing director of digital transformation at Mirum, will be departing after 11 years with the agency. The move was confirmed to Marketing by Jacco ter Schegget, CEO of J. Walter Thompson Group South East Asia, who added that Anthony will be leaving “to take a well-earned break”.

“We thank him for his contribution to Mirum’s growth in the region and wish him the very best for his next chapter,” Schegget said. He added:

“Given my own digital background, I see Mirum as a major asset and critical driver of growth for J. Walter Thompson Group in Southeast Asia. We look forward to continuing our process of collaboration, not integration, between J. Walter Thompson and Mirum in the region.”

Anthony took on the regional role back when Mirum was then known as XM Asia Pacific before its massive global rebrand in 2015, replacing Vince Lui who exited the agency after 14 years. Before that, he was the general manager of XM Malaysia, where he led XM Asia’s digital transformation practice with local, regional and global brands across the telco, financial, tourism and airlines verticals in establishing their digital footprint in connecting with their customers. In this scope, he has worked with brands across Asia, Middle East & Africa.

Anthony joined XM Asia in Singapore in 2006 as an account director on HP and MSIG, and was later promoted to new business director. In 2008, he moved back to Malaysia to establish XM Asia’s Kuala Lumpur office leading the digital transformation practice. Anthony, who will be based in Singapore in his new role, will continue to oversee the KL office.

The move followed plans to align the reporting structure of Mirum in Asia Pacific to facilitate collaboration with the network’s creative agency, and to present a cohesive, integrated offering to clients. This resulted in the appointment of Schegget, who came on board in September this year to take on the newly-created role of Southeast Asia CEO for JWT and Mirum. The appointment coincided with the departure of Nanda Ivens, the APAC Mirum CEO and later the departure of JWT Singapore CEO Peter Womersley.

Meanwhile, Bob Hekkelman, who has served as both the Bangkok CEO and Southeast Asia CEO for JWT, will now focus on his role as CEO of the JWT Group Bangkok. Schegget, together with the managing directors of Mirum in North Asia currently report directly to John Gutteridge, JWT’s Asia Pacific CEO.

According to a statement given at the time, the new reporting structure and appointments were both core to Gutteridge’s plan to strengthen the network’s digital capabilities and build out a stronger integrated offering in the Asian region. The alignment is also said to facilitate Gutteridge’s drive to transform the JWT “beyond communications solutions to a more holistic creative business that delivers pioneering ideas and products”.

“This is not a merger of our two businesses. It’s about transforming both businesses as we recognise synergies in capabilities to deliver more. While our Mirum leaders in each market will work more closely with their counterparts at J. Walter Thompson, it is vital that Mirum retains its unique identity and culture,” Gutteridge said at the time.

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