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Gillies steps down as media lead for Cathay

Mellisa Gillies will step down as global global managing partner for Cathay Pacific team at UM, after six months in the role.

Gillies relocated to Hong Kong in October last year to replace Brett Stewart as UM’s global media lead for Cathay Pacific.

The agency said she will depart at the end of this month.

Doris Kuok, former general manager and North Asia regional director at Starcom Mediavest, will take over her role and is thought to have already started.

The shuffle comes amid troubled times for the Cathay Pacific group, which last month reported an 83.3% drop in profits to HK$5,5 billion in 2012.

Speaking last month Cathay chairman Chris Pratt attributed the result to economic uncertainty and an increasingly competitive environment.

“It was a challenging year for the aviation industry generally,” he said.

The news is believed to have put strain on Cathay’s global media budget, but executives from Cathay and McCann we’re unable to be contacted at press time.

McCann holds a unique relationship with Cathay Pacific where it acts as the lead agency for creative and media buying.

The team is led by Vince Viola as managing director of McCann Erickson’s Cathay Pacific Central Team.

In a statement, Viola said Gillies had made an invaluable contribution to the team. “I am sorry to see her leave and thank her for her time on the Cathay business,” he said.

Kuok will have a dual reporting line to Prashant Kumar, UM’s Malaysia-based president for World Markets Asia and Vince Viola.

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