dentsu X managing director James Hawkins heads to PHD

Omnicom Media Group's PHD has appointed James Hawkins (pictured) as CEO of its operations in Asia Pacific (APAC), effective in October. He takes over from Susana Tsui, who left the organisation earlier this year to take on the Dentsu Aegis Network China CEO role.

Hawkins joins the network from dentsu X where he was managing director APAC and brings over 15 years of experience in advancing digital practices. This includes driving digital transformation at creative and media agencies, including 10 years in APAC.

In his new role, he will be tasked with channelling PHD’s upward momentum in the region and taking the agency’s future-facing offering to the next level. He will also report to both Tony Harradine, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific, and Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide.

Working closely with both Harradine and Cooper, Hawkins will also work close with agency leads in 16 APAC markets. This is by leveraging his digital experience and industry knowledge to elevate the network’s offering in line with ongoing media transformation and technological advancement, the agency added.

The 16 markets include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand,Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

In a statement, Harradine said that PHD shows no signs of slowing down attributing it with the global HSBS account win last month, adding that Hawkins is the best candidate the company was looking for to helm the role. He added that APAC represents a very strategic market for the agency, one that is now starting to set the pace and agenda for global clients and agencies alike.

"Some of our strongest and most applauded work in 2017 came out of markets such as China, India, Australia and New Zealand. With Hawkins’ impressive track record of growing agencies in the region and progressing the digital credentials of several prominent brands, we are confident that the network will continue to soar to new heights in APAC," Cooper said.

“PHD has certainly commanded the industry’s attention over the past few years, surpassing larger competitor networks with its new business and awards performance. However, its strong people-focused culture and impressive talent pool are what have impressed me the most about the network. I am excited to be joining such a dynamic and inspirational team, and look forward to working with them on continuing PHD’s powerful growth journey in Asia Pacific,” Hawkins added.