Zecha retires, Cowie to helm TBWA-ISC
Malaysia - In a senior management shuffle, Austen Zecha, president of TBWA-ISC Malaysia has retired with the agency naming Aaron Cowie as its managing director.
Austen (pictured) had been with the agency since 2001 when TBWA's joint venture with ISC started. Keith Smith, president international of TBWA said: "Austen has always been one of TBWA's most charismatic leaders. We all wish him well for his future and I would like to thank him for his leadership over the years."
Throughout his 50-year long career Zecha has helped establish close to 11 different agencies across markets such as Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia. These include JWT, Saatchi & Saatchi, Landor & Associates, Edelman PR and TBWA.
Earlier, this year the agency and Zecha were in news following the high profile withdrawal from the Tourism Malaysia pitch with allegations of ambiguity in the tender process.
When asked a TBWA-ISC spokesperson told Marketing that Zecha's departure does not impact the management structure as his retirement was "expected around this time". He further added the changes will also not impact the joint venture with ISC.
As part of its management succession plan, TBWA has named Cowie, currently chief operating officer of the agency to take over as managing director with immediate effect, as executive vice president Datuk Tim Garland takes over a new role as consultant, Capital Markets Communications, focused on developing ASEAN financial markets.
Cowie will report directly into the Asia Pacific regional management team. As MD he will be supported by the management team headed by executive creative director Jeff Orr, head of account management Shaun Tay, deputy executive creative director Paul Lingan, head of digital Jordan Chua and finance director Yeong Hoong Meng.On his departure, Garland said he was delighted to be handing over the baton to Cowie's capable hands. "Cowie's more than 20 years' of experience in client services, strategic planning and management with a handful of other leading multinational agencies in Malaysia has prepared him for the role."
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