In one of his first major moves since becoming the regional lead, JWT Asia Pacific’s CEO Tom Doctoroff has formed a new regional executive management committee with several key promotions.
With the aim to drive business development and creative direction for the region, JWT Bangkok’s CEO Bob Hekkelman will be promoted to the newly-created role of Southeast Asia CEO, overseeing operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Hekkelman has worked in the industry, on both client and agency side for 26 years, and has spent 12 years in agency leadership roles in SEA. He has held positions such as group managing director for O&M in the Philippines, and later Jakarta, before joining JWT Bangkok as CEO in 2007.
Hekkelman, together with Australasia CEO John Gutteridge and Doctoroff (pictured), who also serves as North Asia area director, will represent JWT’s Asia Pacific’s three sub-regions on the new regional executive committee.
JWT has also promoted Ratan Malli, a 20 year veteran of JWT APAC to the new role of strategic planning director, APAC. Malli has worked with JWT in Bangalore, Taiwan and Shanghai, across many of JWT’s clients, including Unilever, DTC, Nokia, Microsoft, Unicharm, InBev, and HSBC.
Doctoroff said Southeast Asia’s economic star is on the rise and the agency is “committed to seeking out new opportunities both in existing markets it operates in, and in the newer, emerging markets of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.”
He added that Hekkelman’s new role reflects the “importance of Southeast Asia in JWT’s broader strategy.”
The creative leadership of the new JWT APAC committee will take its direction from Lo Sheung Yan, who takes on expanded responsibilities as chairman of the APAC creative council.
Lo will be working with Tay Guan Hin, JWT’s Southeast Asia ECD and Global Lux ECD, and Yang Yeo, who will be promoted to the role of North Asia ECD and China chairman. Yeo was previously Shanghai chief creative officer.
Other members of JWT APAC’s new regional committee include JWT Asia Pacific CFO Nick Romas; JWT’s APAC chief talent officer Sapna Srivastava.
Also in the committee are JWT APAC consultant Mark Webster; Pete Rentschler, president of Blue Hive, WPP’s team ford Asian agency; Paul Soon, CEO of XM Asia Pacific, a JWT company and Cai Hui, founder and CEO of Always Field Marketing under JWT in China.
Earlier this year, the company also bid farewell to Angus Fraser who had been with the agency for eight years. The role held by Fraser was taken over by Frank Bauer who joined JWT from German ad agency Scholz & Friends Group, where he was international managing director.