The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has confirmed that former managing director of APCO Worldwide Malaysia, Paul Stadlen, left the country before the 14th Malaysian General Elections, according to multiple media reports including The Star, New Straits Times and Malay Mail Online.
At APCO, Stadlen assisted former Prime Minister Najib Razak in his PR campaigns. His reason for fleeing was unknown, several media reports said. A+M understands that James Yi, managing director, Southeast Asia, is currently in charge of the Malaysia operations.
Yi was appointed the role in May this year and has over 20 years of experience globally. Prior to joining APCO, Yi was the executive director, Asia Pacific at GLOBALHealthPR, as well as the CEO and market leader for Burson-Marsteller Korea. He also worked at Ogilvy PR, MAX PR, Fleishman-Hillard, McCann Health and Baldwin Boyle Shand. A+M has reached out to APCO for comment.
On its website, APCO said it sees Malaysia as a key entry point into Asia as it lies at the heart of Southeast Asia. The agency also believes there is "significant" room for growth in Malaysia and the ASEAN region, and an integrated approach is needed when conducting business, managing corporate reputation and working with the government in Malaysia. It also described Malaysia to be "increasingly acting" as an economic, cultural and religious bridge between civilisations.