Grey Group makes triple hire for Singapore and APAC offices

Grey Group has made three new hires in a bid to bolster its leadership core in Asia, with a special focus on Grey Group Singapore.

This includes Mans Tesch (pictured second from left) as chief strategy officer for Grey Group APAC, Marthinus Strydom (pictured far right) as global creative leader, Team GSK at Grey Group Singapore, and Neil Cotton (pictured far left), who takes on the dual role as global strategy director for GSK and chief strategy officer for Grey Group Singapore.

The trio will play an instrumental role in deepening Grey Group Singapore’s creative offerings and creative processes, as well as drive the ongoing digital transformation of the company, across the region.

Key senior hire, Cotton’s career has seen him collaborate with many brands such as Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Heineken, Audi, IBM, and Nokia, amongst others. Prior to Grey, Cotton was the founder of Liberty Networks, a brand and innovation consultancy with Unilever, Infiniti, OCBC, and Channel NewsAsia amongst its clientele.

He has been in the industry for 27 years, previously holding a number of senior leadership roles including; senior partner & worldwide group planning director from 1992 to 2002 at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, regional head of planning from 2002 to 2005 at Bates, Hong Kong. In 2005, he joined Lowe Worldwide, HK, as the regional chief strategy officer from 2005 to 2007 and was widely credited with bringing in the planning discipline to their Asia operations. Cotton was also the founder of GMT+8 Consulting, HK/Shanghai from 2007 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011, he took on the role of regional chief strategy officer at Young & Rubicam, Singapore, and was attributed as a key contributor in developing their planning resources.

Newly appointed Strydom will work closely with Ali Shabaz, chief creative officer, Grey Group, Southeast Asia, to set the overall creative direction for Grey’s GSK operations. He will be responsible for fostering an even-deeper culture of creativity and accelerate Team GSK’s digital transformation. Prior to Grey, he did a six-year stint as a creative director of BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore), where he led several memorable projects for the likes of Google, IKEA, UOB Bank, Chupa Chups, and Vaseline. In an earlier role as digital associate creative director at BBDO New York, Strydom was credited for the development of groundbreaking integrated work for A-list clients including AT&T and GE.

Meanwhile, Tesch’s role is a newly created one and will see him leading the strategy teams and setting the strategic direction across the region. He will also oversee Grey’s continued immersion into the areas of innovation, mobile and social. He joins Grey from Crispin Porter + Bogusky where he was chief strategy officer for Scandinavia. He led strategy and planning in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, working across the entire client spectrum including; Arla, Carlsberg, Ikea, Infiniti, Scania and Sony.

He also joined Razorfish as executive strategy director in March 2013 where he worked with names such as Argos, BlackBerry, DHL, and McDonalds and won new clients including; Beats by Dre, JP Morgan, Novartis and Spotify. This was followed by a stint at Wieden + Kennedy in London working on Samsung’s Olympic Sponsorship and the launch of Angry Birds 2.Earlier in his career, he also co-founded creative agency Tesch & Tesch in Stockholm and has held office as global digital strategy director at Lowe Worldwide. This was where he developed the digital efforts of the Lowe network around the world whilst working with their global clients, Nestlé, Stella Artois, Unilever and Nokia, amongst others.

“In order to enhance Grey’s core leadership team, we continue to hire world-class talents in Neil Cotton and Marthinus Strydom. They have deep knowledge and proven track records in their specific areas of expertise and their roles are directed towards delivering our very best for our clients,” Nirvik Singh (pictured second from right), chairman & CEO, Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East, & Africa said.

“In today’s dynamic environment, strategy, data and technology all play a crucial role and Tesch is one of the world’s most experienced in this field. We want to take Grey to the next level and there is no better person to help us achieve this goal,” Singh added on Tesch’s appointment.

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