J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Singapore has confirmed to Marketing it is restructuring Mirum Singapore. This is in a bid to better leverage its extensive network strengths in the region, Jacco ter Schegget, Southeast Asia CEO of JWT and Mirum said in a statement.
“To be more competitive on price and breadth of services, machine automation, tech development and delivery will increasingly be handled by near-shore specialists within Mirum and WPP,” he said. In Singapore, Mirum is said to be doubling-down on upstream consulting for clients as it continue to build out its digital transformation, experience design and commerce activation offering across Southeast Asia.
Marketing understands that the shift in job functions may result in employees within these functions being redeployed to other parts of the wider network in a bid to retain them, and it may also result in job cuts if redeployment is not possible.
When asked about job cuts at Mirum Singapore, JWT's spokesperson declined to comment on Marketing's queries.
Last year, JWT made plans to align the reporting structure of Mirum in Asia Pacific to facilitate collaboration with the network’s creative agency, and to present a cohesive, integrated offering to clients. This resulted in the appointment of Schegget, who took on the newly-created role of Southeast Asia CEO for JWT and Mirum. The appointment coincided with the departure of Nanda Ivens, the APAC Mirum CEO and later the departure of JWT Singapore CEO Peter Womersley.
Following Schegget's appointment, JWT APAC also appointed Marianne Admardatine as the new CEO for J. Walter Thompson Company Indonesia, comprising Mirum and J. Walter Thompson.
According to a statement given at the time, the new reporting structure and appointments were both core to Gutteridge’s plan to strengthen the network’s digital capabilities and build out a stronger integrated offering in the Asian region. The alignment is also said to facilitate Gutteridge’s drive to transform the JWT "beyond communications solutions to a more holistic creative business that delivers pioneering ideas and products".
"This is not a merger of our two businesses. It’s about transforming both businesses as we recognise synergies in capabilities to deliver more. While our Mirum leaders in each market will work more closely with their counterparts at J. Walter Thompson, it is vital that Mirum retains its unique identity and culture," Gutteridge said at the time.
In November 2017, following the exit of regional managing director of digital transformation at Mirum, Rueben Anthony, Schegget added that Mirum is seen as a major asset and critical driver of growth for JWT in Southeast Asia. He said: "We look forward to continuing our process of collaboration, not integration, between J. Walter Thompson and Mirum in the region."