Y&R Asia has appointed Chris Foster as president of Y&R Asia, most recently president of global clients at Publicis Groupe. He replaces Matthew Godfrey, who left the agency in October after seven years to take up the CEO role of Nutrition Innovation. The agency confirmed the move to Marketing.
During his time at Publicis Groupe, Foster reported to Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist, Publicis Groupe. Based in Paris, Foster took on the role in September 2015. Before that, he was worldwide chief operating officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, where he was responsible for the performance and operations of Saatchi & Saatchi’s major business units in Asia Pacific, the Americas, UK and Europe and the Middle East, according to his LinkedIn.
He was also the chairman and regional CEO of Asia Pacific and Greater China, where he was tasked with driving growth throughout the region. Markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan ROC, Thailand, and Vietnam. He was also a senior leader at Saatchi & Saatchi since 1999 in North America, Asia Pacific and Greater China, as CEO of Fallon USA 2008 to 2011.
“Foster’s success in Asia, as well as his track record of building strong, collaborative teams will be key to building upon our creative and strategic excellence, expanding our business capabilities and helping our clients grow their brands in the region and beyond,” David Patton, global president at Y&R, said.
“Collectively the Asian economies are the strongest in the world at this time, and the enthusiasm for all things digital among consumers means there are enormous growth opportunities for local, regional and global clients. I am looking forward to making an immediate impact and bringing my regional and global experience to bear on our clients’ brands and businesses,” Foster said.
Godfrey’s departure was revealed in August this year. During his time at Y&R, Godfrey oversaw in the region the operations of Y&R Advertising, VML and LabStore, which total 38 offices in 13 countries. Prior to the role, he was also CEO of Publicis Asia from 2006 to 2010 and CEO of Bates in 2005.
Y&R has seen a fair bit of change in guard in the Asia front. In Singapore, the agency recently appointed Shirley Tay as CEO to replace Melvin Kuek who was in the role for over four years. It is currently undergoing a restructure in its organisation. This saw the exit of client services director Kea Sui Hong and regional creative director Bruce Watt, both of whom have been with the company since 2007.