Shirley Tay exits Y&R to return back to Ogilvy

Y&R CEO Shirley Tay is returning to Ogilvy as executive group director in Singapore.  In her new role, Tay will drive integrated marketing work across industries in Singapore and internationally deploying Ogilvy’s full range of modern marketing capabilities. She will report to Chris Riley, chief executive, Ogilvy Singapore, and will join the management team in Singapore.

She joined Y&R in 2017, and was tipped to have exited late last year, according to Marketing's sources. Y&R however could not confirm to Marketing news of her departure. She also has over 20 years of experience in integrated marketing and communications, serving as managing director and founding partner at creative agency Zoo Group prior to her stint at Y&R.

She started the Zoo's Singapore office and built a team that achieved business results for clients by infusing creativity with data, behavioural science and technology. Tay first began her marketing career with Ogilvy in Singapore. Notably, she led Health Promotion Board's integrated 'I Quit' campaign which took home Singapore's first-ever Gold at the IPA Effectiveness Awards in 2012.

“I couldn’t be happier to have Shirley, our shining alumni, back at Ogilvy! With her strong background in advertising and the edge she gained through building a start-up business from the ground up at Zoo Group, Shirley returns to us with the full suite of skills and values that are so highly desired in an agency leader. She is multi-talented and known for her work ethic, integrity and sense of purpose. I am eager to see the impact that she will have on our team and in the integrated work that we’ll be delivering for clients,” said Riley.

Tay said, “Returning to Ogilvy makes me feel right at home. This is an agency that helped to shape my career and has remained close to my heart because of its people, culture and creative excellence. I am excited to inject a new energy and perspective in Singapore’s leading agency at a time of great transformation for our clients and industry.”

Y&R Singapore in recent times have seen a slew of departures given its global integration with VML to form VMLY&R. The new entity consist of more than 7,000 people, and in Singapore and China respectively, Tripti Lochan  and Yi Chung Tay have been named co-CEOs of VMLY&R Asia, VML confirmed to Marketing. Prior to the move, Lochan was CEO of Southeast Asia and India, while Tay was CEO of VML China. The formation of the new agency saw Y&R president Chris Foster leaving the agency.