Leadership change at dentsu Malaysia as Tan Kien Eng takes over

Dentsu Malaysia has named Tan Kien Eng as CEO, effective 8 February, taking over from Nicky Lim who is moving on to pursue other interests close to six years after he first took over in 2015. Tan (pictured left) will report to Ashish Bhasin, CEO, dentsu Asia Pacific. Meanwhile, Lim (pictured right) will leave on 15 February to ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the market.

Tan will be responsible for continuing the business’ transformation journey, driving integration across media, creative and CXM service lines. He is also tasked with building a strong culture with its employees and growth for its clients' business. Tan was most recently with Publicis Groupe Malaysia as CEO, stepping down after more than four years. He was first named to the role in 2016 and was CEO of Leo Burnett Malaysia prior to that, a position he took on in 2007. He joined ARC Worldwide Malaysia in 2004 as executive director and ECD.

"I am excited to be joining dentsu, with its strong heritage of innovation at such a pivotal time," he said. According to him, the market has never been more dynamic with COVID-19 rewriting consumer behaviour and therefore, expectations of the brands they engage with. He added that dentsu is "excellently placed" to capitalise on this pivot for its clients and he is looking forward to working with the teams to develop and grow these opportunities.

His appointment comes weeks after the agency brought on board Dheeraj Raina as media CEO to lead all media brands under its wing - Consider iProspect, Vizeum, Carat, dentsu X, Amplifi, Posterscope, and Amnet. He was previously with Mindshare for two years, rejoining the agency as MD in 2018. On a regional level, dentsu also witnessed some leadership changes as well, with Rachel Ooi joining earlier this week as chief growth officer, customer experience management (CXM) for its Asia Pacific operations to boost CXM's regional footprint through new business and organic growth. Meanwhile in January, Prerna Mehrotra was promoted to CEO, media, Asia Pacific, in addition to her current role as MD, media group, Singapore.

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