Merkle has named John Riccio as president of Merkle APAC, which includes Greater China, Southeast Asia, India, and ANZ. In his new role, Riccio (pictured) will play a critical role in leading the growth and evolution of Merkle APAC, as well as continue in his existing role as CEO of Merkle’s ANZ region. He replaces Zhengda Shen, who has announced his retirement after more than two decades on Merkle’s executive leadership team, effective 1 July 2022.
With more than 25 years of experience leading major digital businesses and strategic programmes, Riccio is recognised as a specialist in helping clients transform the way they respond to market change and engage consumers. He is also experienced in leveraging emerging technologies that support sustainable growth and scale. Riccio has an extensive background in leading customer experience consulting, most recently as an experience consulting partner, APAC, for EY. Previously, he held partner positions at PwC in Australia and Asia, and at IBM in the UK.
The announcement comes after a year of significant simplification, capability integration, and investment across all key areas of the Merkle business in order to help solve its clients’ complex, enterprise-scale experience challenges, with a focus on technology and data.
Riccio’s appointment follows Merkle’s parent company dentsu’s ambition to become the most integrated agency network in the world, which saw the appointment of Komasinski as global CEO of Merkle last October. In addition to Riccio’s appointment is a slew of new hires for Merkle, as well as a clear marketing activation plan, and focused investment.
“I am delighted to confirm John as president of Merkle APAC, as further proof of dentsu’s commitment to accelerating the growth and performance of our customer experience consulting, data, digital transformation, and B2B services across the region,” said Michael Komasinski, global CEO of Merkle. “Riccio’s extensive regional and global leadership experience will further enable and drive growth and success in this critical region for the business”, added Komasinski.
On his new role, Riccio said, “Since joining Merkle, I have been impressed by the technical expertise and forward-thinking, agile approach the company takes in the experiences delivered to its clients and employees. I am excited to expand my ANZ role across the broader APAC region, supporting our clients who have entrusted us to create distinctly better experiences and relationships with their customers across all key technology platforms.”
Former CEO Shen’s departure from Merkle follows his successful driving of business growth for Merkle across APAC, where he grew the business from US$5 million in one market to US$150 million across ten markets, with more than 2,000 employees, the agency said. On Shen’s departure, Komasinki added, “It has been a pleasure working with and learning from Shen, and I want to personally thank him for his steadfast commitment to Merkle’s success and wish him much happiness in his retirement.”
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