Love, Bonito picks former marketer Dione Song as CEO, first in company's 11-year history

Love, Bonito has promoted chief operating officer Dione Song to CEO, marking its first CEO in the company's 11-year history, according to co-founder Rachel Lim in a LinkedIn post. Song (pictured) first joined Love, Bonito in 2017 as chief commercial officer before being promoted to chief operating officer in 2018.

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Song said she will be responsible for driving Love, Bonito's vision, strategy, culture and growth of the group. She will be working closely alongside Lim in this new role. "Together with our senior leadership team of 13 and a team of 250 across the region, we have built Love, Bonito into the largest digitally native women's brand in Southeast Asia, and have been expanding beyond SEA to North Asia, Australia and United States," she said.

Before joining Love, Bonito, Song worked at Sephora for more than a year, helming the roles of regional director, digital marketing and head of Australia and New Zealand, eCommerce. She was also with ZALORA Group for four years, according to her LinkedIn, during which she climbed the ranks from onsite manager in 2012 to marketing director in 2013 and MD in 2015.

Lim said in her LinkedIn post that she is excited about the road ahead under Song's leadership. As co-founder, Lim will still be partnering with Song and be actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business, with a focus on brand marketing, design, and product assortment. Lim will also be spending more time on projects to solidify its connection and engagement with the Love, Bonito community.

Love, Bonito's journey of finding a CEO has not been an easy one. It started five years ago when it was planning to go from startup to scale-up and Lim expressed the desire to the company's investor and partner at Openspace Ventures, Goh Hian, about bringing on board a CEO to take Love, Bonito's mission and vision to greater heights.

"We considered that title a sacred and precious one. We were very particular about the qualities we were looking for and felt like giving up after numerous yet unsuccessful candidate meetings and interviews," she said.

Since joining Love, Bonito, Lim said Song has been "instrumental in elevating [the brand] from startup to scale-up, and from a regional business to a global brand". 

As a brand, Love, Bonito sets out to be "the most thoughtful brand" for the everyday Asian woman, and its ambition extends beyond that, to evolve from a fashion brand to an ecosystem for all products and services women-related, according to Song. Love, Bonito is currently present in markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. 

In 2019, it opened its third store in Singapore's Funan Mall, touting a phygital offering that includes a bigger community space, photo-worthy spots such as an infinity mirror room, an AR walkway, and personal stylists on demand. A year before, it worked with 72andSunny Singapore for a brand refresh and also secured an additional US$13 million in Series B funding led by Kakaku.com, together with existing investor NSI Ventures. 

The company is currently hiring for roles in brand, commercial, and creative. These include growth marketing manager, communications manager, international marketing executive, (senior) executive for growth marketing, and brand marketing - social media assistant.

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