Andrew Lee (pictured), managing director of Havas Immerse, has been promoted to group MD, Havas Group Malaysia and will oversee the creative and media units. Lee will report to Vishnu Mohan, chairman and CEO of Havas Group Southeast Asia and India.
He helmed the role of managing director of Havas Immerse after the agency acquired digital agency Immerse in 2017. The acquisition led to Immerse being integrated with Havas’ creative operations and the creative team was rebranded to Havas Immerse. According to Havas Group, his promotion is in line with its overall global strategy of accelerating integration by breaking silos across creative and media functions to deliver an agile and multi-disciplinary service to clients.
Lee joined the agency in 2008 as client service director when it was previously known as Euro RSCG in 2008. Two years ago, he was named president of the Association of the Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia, after serving two years as VP. In April, Lee was reelected as president. Prior to Havas, he was the COO at Absolute Entertainment for close to two years, according to his LinkedIn. Lee also worked at Ogilvy, Galaxy Production and Naga DDB.
(Read also: Meet the CEOs: Havas Kuala Lumpur’s Andrew Lee)
According to Lee, the growing complexity of platforms and channels calls for a multi-dimensional approach to marketing and advertising and the Havas Village model of collaboration and integration is exactly what clients are looking for. “I am extremely excited to work with the team to start a new chapter for Havas Group in Malaysia,” he added.
In a previous interview with A+M, Lee said his biggest influence in his advertising career is Tan Sri Vincent Lee. “He was the reason I chose advertising as a career and he is the inspiration for me to continue in it,” he said.
When asked about his management style, Lee said: “I use an invisible leash”. He explained that the team has a lot of freedom in what they do because they are all adults, “but when someone starts behaving like a spoiled brat, the leash magically pulls him back onto the right path”.
He also offered advice to individuals starting out in the advertising industry, saying that it is important to listen and listen well.
“Listen to your clients because they know the brand better than you. Listen to the people because they know what they want. Listen to the market because it tells you what will work,” Lee added.
Meanwhile, Mohan said the agency strengthened its capabilities in the growing Malaysian market with the acquisition of digital agency Immerse in 2017. Lee’s leadership will reinforce its “Together” strategy that brings together Havas Group agencies of different disciplines under a unified client-centric structure and pave the way for robust, integrated, outcome-oriented solutions rooted in digital expertise.
“I am delighted to welcome to welcome Lee in his new role and confident that he will propel Havas Group Malaysia towards further growth and success,” he added.
In September, the agency witnessed a global reorganisation in its leadership after APAC CEO Mike Amour announced he is stepping down from his role. Havas’ spokesperson told A+M then that his role will not be directly replaced.
While Mohan will remain in his current role with India reporting to global media and creative leadership via him, Havas Group Greater China and Australia leadership teams now report directly to Chris Hirst, global CEO Havas Creative, and Peter Mears, global CEO Havas Media in New York and London respectively.
The move came as Havas decided to simplify the lines of its management system for its media and creative leadership teams, to be more directly connected to the local APAC markets teams.
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