Kantar Malaysia names MC Lai its new CEO

WPP’s global insights consultancy Kantar has appointed MC Lai (pictured) as its chief executive officer (CEO) in Malaysia, succeeding Tim Kelsall. Lai will take on the position, heading the combined divisions of Kantar TNS and Kantar Millward Brown, in addition to his current role as managing director of Kantar TNS.

This latest appointment also marks the end of Kelsall's leadership over the past two years, in which he also helped to build the team in Malaysia. That said, the company at the same time, appointed Kelsall, to hold a "broader Kantar responsibility" as regional CCO. For the Malaysian market, MC will be responsible for "the continued success of Kantar TNS and Kantar Millward Brown by developing the expertise of local teams and enhancing the synergies between the brands to bring the best of what Kantar has to offer to clients."

Lai started his career at Kantar TNS in Malaysia 20 years ago. Over this period, he has built deep client relationships and developed a detailed understanding of the marketing landscape.

"His promotion to CEO is in keeping with Kantar’s strategy of growing strong local leadership in key markets for clients," according to the statement by WPP.

Adrian Gonzalez, CEO North Asia, Southeast Asia, Pacific, insights division at Kantar, said, “MC has demonstrated formidable leadership skills as head of Kantar TNS, steering the business in towards an agile, digitally-focused future, culminating in last year’s A+M’s Agency of the Year gold award. I’m confident that he can deliver similar successes at the helm of the insights division in Malaysia.”

Lai added, that Malaysia is an "incredibly exciting market" at the moment, with many brands pushing the boundaries with its marketing strategies. "These advanced approaches need to be backed up by advanced insight and measurement. I’m looking forward to working with clients to deliver a holistic understanding of their issues using the best of what Kantar TNS and Kantar Millward Brown have to offer.”