McCann shakes up top management

McCann Worldgroup has appointed Michael Constantine as president of its Malaysia operation, with Richard Irvine stepping in as chief creative officer.

Constantine returns to Asia to take over from CEO Tony Savarimuthu (pictured), who will lead a new agency Merdeka LHS with Huang Ean Hwa and Szu Lee, McCann's deputy chairman and executive creative director.

MerdekaLHS, an acronym for the founding partners Szu Lee, Huang Ean Hwa and Tony Savarimuthu, will operate as an independent company within the McCann network, focused on strategy and brand consulting.

Constantine, previously global marketing director of Prime Focus, will become a member of McCann Worldgroup's Asia Pacific executive committee and joins the agency from late February.

Richard Irvine, former chief creative officer at Publicis Malaysia, will join as chief creative officer from early March.

Both Constantine and Irvine will be based in Kuala Lumpur.

Charles Cadell, president of McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific, said Constantine and Irvine have an ambitious growth strategy for McCann Worldgroup Malaysia.

“Malaysia is a priority market for us in Southeast Asia and therefore leadership is key to our success," he said.

"Tony, Hwa and Szu have been tremendously successful for us and with them now leading Merdeka LHS, Michael and Richard are charged with driving our global strategic and creative direction, and ambitious growth strategy for McCann Worldgroup Malaysia.”

In a statement, Savarimithu said Merdeka LHS will maintain a close strategic relationship with McCann.

“The McCann leadership has been very supportive of our ambitions,” he said.

“We are particularly happy to see the appointment of an established leadership team to lead McCann Malaysia as we move on to the next stage in our career.”