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JWT names new HR director

J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific CEO John Gutteridge has appointed Sylvia Leong as Asia Pacific director of human resources. The move marks a full circle for Leong, who started out at J. Walter Thompson Singapore in 2000, before moving on to a diverse HR and talent management career that spans the media, heavy industry and technology sectors.

Leong, who has a strong focus on cultural transformation and change management, joins from Kennametal Inc, where she led a regional HR team across the full spectrum of talent acquisition, engagement and management activities.

Prior to that, Leong was with SPX Flow Technology, where she worked on improving HR efficiency and effectiveness through influencing organizational design and effectiveness, and led successful change management programs across several corporate acquisitions.  She has also worked at International Logging Services, as regional HR manager, as well as at MediaCorp and at J. Walter Thompson Singapore.

“Sylvia’s experience across Asia’s diverse cultures and sectors gives her the kind of insight and perspective we need, in an industry that is evolving every day.  She understands the importance of managing talent, and managing change, to bring out the best in people,” said Gutteridge.

“I’m delighted to be back in the network, especially because it is such an exciting time at JWT,” said Leong. Leong starts on February 2.

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