DDB Group Singapore's Jeff Cheong helms new role, outlines 3-pronged plan for agency

DDB Group Singapore has elevated deputy president Jeff Cheong to the role of deputy CEO, as it sets its sights to accelerate marketing innovation for the future. In addition to his current role as head of Tribal Worldwide in Asia and Singapore, Cheong (pictured) has also been named on the DDB Worldwide executive leadership team.

In his new role as deputy CEO, Cheong has been tasked with spearheading the agency group’s agile marketing technology solutions, including advancing Tribal Worldwide’s Total Experience (TX) digital transformation practice. Since its launch in 2018, TX has developed business transformation solutions for clients across the region including Hong Kong Tourism Board, JTC, Gov.sg and iShopChangi by Changi Airport. Following the launch of TX, Cheong will be focusing on further expanding the group’s consulting team and partnering with tech experts to deepen the agency’s medical services expertise. Cheong's latest appointment is part of a long-term succession plan to strengthen the group’s management leadership team. He reports to David Tang, DDB CEO for Asia and Singapore. 

In a statement to Marketing, DDB's spokesperson said Cheong will be supported by Joshua Lee, chief business office of DDB Group Singapore and managing partner of Tribal Worldwide Singapore, as well as Leslie Goh, chief project officer of DDB Group Singapore and chief operating officer and managing partner of Tribal Worldwide Asia. Both Lee and Goh will assist Cheong in overseeing both DDB Group Singapore and Tribal Worldwide as part of the group's management team. 

Cheong's three-pronged plan for the next 12 months aims to bolster the agency’s leadership position in Singapore and regionally. He will focus on the following areas:

1. Strategic partnerships within the industry to identify opportunities for growth in new sectors;
2. Expanding the group’s Telling Stories division with branded and entertainment content, and;
3. Equipping the next generation of DDB leaders with vital skills for the future.

Over the last 12 years, Cheong has spearheaded new products and services for commercial and community growth. In 2016, he led the launch of Equator in partnership with the Economic Development Board of Singapore. The centre of excellence for creative technology started at Temasek Polytechnic and has since extended to Nanyang Polytechnic, and aims to scale up the operation to equip graduation cohort with advanced skills for the industry. He also most recently served on the advisory panel for the Youth Action Plan/ Somerset Belt programme where young Singaporeans make their mark on the revamped youth precinct as part of the government's plan to rejuvenate Orchard Road.

Cheong was also involved in the creation of the community site Iamaccb.sg as a marketplace for local SMEs and source of news and inspiration for Singaporeans. Cheong also collaborated closely with the Infocomm Media Development Authority to launch the nationwide SG Digital programme to close the digital divide for seniors and encourage hawker stall to adopt digital payments. Additionally, he was involved in the creation of a COVID-19 public service announcement video commissioned by the Ministry of Communications and Information titled "Singapore Be Steady", which reminded people to keep safe and embrace new social norms. 

“I am very thankful to be part of an organisation that celebrates diversity of talents and entrepreneurship. With our eclectic group of talent, including business consultants, digital technologists and film makers, it gives us the depth and range to be a transformative marketing agency. Our first feature film 初心 (André & His Olive Tree) will premiere in Taiwan on 21 August 2020. With the responsibility entrusted, I am committed to deliver growth for my clients and drive this agency group forward with my team," Cheong said.

Meanwhile, Lee and Goh are "the twin engines" that power DDB Group's marketing and TX offerings, the spokesperson said. They will assume responsibility to grow and evolve Tribal Worldwide supported by creative director Benson Toh, principal consultant, technology, Herry Budiyanto, and head of film and social content Josiah Ng.

Tang said he is very pleased to see how Cheong has grown and thrived, particularly in pushing the boundaries of digital transformation and content marketing. “We have great expectation of greater things to come from him, particularly in building more great Singapore brands and agenda," he added.

Meanwhile, Marty O’Halloran, global president and CEO of DDB Worldwide, said Tang and Cheong represent the best of its local heroes contributing at a global stage. It shows the entrepreneurial spirit of DDB and the rise of its Asian talent, O'Halloran added.

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