Group MD Lisa Hezila to exit VMLY&R Malaysia

VMLY&R Malaysia's group managing director Lisa Hezila (pictured) is stepping down from her role to pursue personal interests after 15 years with the agency.

Hezila will leave the agency at the end of March to support the transition to Eric Ho, who took on the reins as managing director on 1 January 2019. Hezila joined the agency in 2004 as general manager of ParagonY&R before being promoted to managing director in 2012, prior to Y&R's merger with VML. According to the press statement, Hezila is known for her commitment and dedication to her team and clients, and her proven track record of driving innovation, digital and creativity.

During her time with VMLY&R she has forged deep relationships with clients and has been instrumental in building the Malaysia business from the ground up.

Hezila said VMLY&R is "a fantastic company" with a strong culture of creativity and business know-how that always delivers for clients. "For the last 15 years the team has been my family – it has been a fantastic journey, and I am proud of what myself and the team has achieved during this time, working to build the Malaysia office into the robust digital-first agency it is today," she said.

She added that this is an exciting time for VMLY&R, and she is happy in the knowledge that she is handing over the reins to an "incredibly strong, passionate and talented team" that always strives to go the extra mile for the client.

Meanwhile, VMLY&R Malaysia's new managing director Ho (pictured below) moved to Malaysia from the agency's regional headquarters in Singapore. He has been in the communications industry for more than 10 years on both the agency and client-side, and brings with him a wealth of experience, the press statement read. Specialising in integrated communications, Ho previously led new business development for the agency's government practice in Singapore and market development for Malaysia.

“Hezila has been a bundle of energy, enthusiasm and optimism for us over the decades. She helped put VMLY&R on the map and has been a trailblazer in the industry, having been part of many industry bodies. We will dearly miss her, and I do want to take this time to thank Lisa for putting her heart and soul into building an agency whose continued success is going to be her legacy,” said Tripti Lochan, co-CEO of VMLY&R Asia.

She added that Eric is an "exceptional leader" who comes with over 10 years of experience in future oriented digital marketing – and the agency looks forward to his continued dedication in providing clients with the most relevant and contemporary agency offering in the market today.

“This is an exciting time for VMLY&R as we continue to match leadership, talent and skillsets to help our clients futureproof their businesses by building truly connected brands," Lochan added.

Last year, WPP merged the two agencies to combine brand experience and brand advertising, drawing on the complementary expertise of VML and Y&R to create connected brands that drive value for clients. It appointed Lochan and Yi Chung Tay as co-CEOs of VMLY&R Asia. Last month, it also announced that it will be narrowing down its focus to six key areas – brand stewardship, advisory, commerce, content and media innovation, data & insights, and experience and technology, driving business growth by matching leadership, talent and skill-sets to this new structure.

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