Dentsu LHS leaders step down 5 years after acquisition

Dentsu LHS CEO Tony Savarimuthu (pictured left) and chief creative officers Huang Ean Hwa (pictured second from left) and Szu H. Lee (pictured second from right) are moving on from the agency five years after the acquisition of Merdeka LHS by dentsu Malaysia (formerly Dentsu Aegis Network) in 2016. The agency was renamed as Dentsu LHS after the acquisition. This comes as the trio have completed the earnout duration of Merdeka LHS. The agency was founded in 2013 and Savarimuthu, Huang and Lee were previously from McCann Worldgroup Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Andrew Low (pictured right) has been appointed group chief creative officer for dentsu Malaysia's creative line of service. His career spans three countries in the Asia Pacific region with Ogilvy, Publicis One, and Leo Burnett. Lou aims to bring dentsu’s creative powerhouses together to solve client’s marketing challenges in an ever-more virtual economy, championing meaningful progress in never-before ways for brands.

Savarimuthu said: "“I’ve had the good fortune of working on some of the world’s most renowned brands as well as go-getters striving to change the status-quo working with the best creatives in the land. I wish to pay tribute to my long-time colleagues and friends Huang and Lee, and not least Ali Mohamed and the late Yasmin Ahmad who were my past colleagues for their ideas, inspired creativity and for changing the perception and fortunes of many a brand both in Malaysia and globally."

Meanwhile, Lee said: "When we joined dentsu we brought Merdeka LHS’s philosophy of being the ‘Enemy of the Same’ with us. Over the years, we have pursued that mantra and infused it with the privilege of working with amazing brands, clients and colleagues. As we go on to pursue new interests, we look forward to seeing dentsu Malaysia continue to thrive."

Huang added: "After an eight year journey with Merdeka LHS (three years independent and five years with Dentsu), I feel the circle is complete. I thank Savarimuthu and Lee for their kinships. Dentsu for their belief in Merdeka LHS. And the amazing people I’ve had the privilege to work alongside." He added that he is taking some time to pursue a passion project - restoring classic Porsches. 

Meanwhile, new CEO of dentsu Malaysia Tan Kien Eng and former CEO Nicky Lim are both grateful for everything the trio have have done in building, growing, and subsequently completing the earnout duration of Merdeka LHS and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours. "As these three ride into the sunset, their everlasting legacy has been imprinted into dentsu’s DNA and it is my honour to have served with them," Lim said.

Meanwhile, Tan recently took over the reins from Lim who is moving on to pursue other interests close to six years after he first took over in 2015. Lim will leave on 15 February to ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the market.

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