TBWA\’s Asia president Philip Brett (pictured left) has taken on a London-based role as global COO. Brett will remain in Singapore for the time being to ensure a smooth transition. A spokesperson has confirmed the news to Marketing.
Replacing him is Ian Pearman (pictured right), current CEO of AMVBBDO in London, whose appointment is effective 1 August 2017. Following the appointment, Pearman will lead all countries in the Asia region, excluding Oceania, which will continue to be led by Paul Bradbury.
According to the agency, expanding Brett’s remit beyond Asia is an important strategic move for TBWA\Worldwide. After 21 years of focus on the Asia region, Brett’s primary responsibility in the COO role is to operationalise the company’s product and platform initiatives globally through the implementation of best practices and innovation.
Under Brett’s leadership, Asia played a major role in creating new products and operating models within TBWA\, such as Disruption Live, which was birthed in Hong Kong and Singapore. Brett's remit now will be to take what he drove throughout Asia and scale it across the company.
In 1996, Breff first relocated to Asia to establish the TEQUILA regional network in 13 markets throughout Asia Pacific. According to the agency, this move also culminated in developing TBWA\Singapore into one of Omnicom’s most successful Hub offices. This allowed the agency to provide fully integrated marketing solutions for a wide range of international clients, including the global portfolio for Singapore Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, and Singapore Tourism Board.
In 2003, Brett was made regional managing director of TEQUILA, having set up 10 agencies across the Asia Pacific region. In 2009, his remit widened to run TBWA\South and Southeast Asia, before being named TBWA\Asia president in 2015.
Meanwhile, Pearman joined AMVBBDO in 1996 as a graduate trainee, and rose through the ranks to CEO in 2010, where he drove innovation, transformation and new services. According to a press statement, the agency topped the billings league for 20 years, this included Pearman’s seven-year CEO tenure.
“Brett and Pearman share an innovation and product mindset, the ability to build bridges, and a thirst to drive ideas into action. We are beyond lucky to have two of Omnicom’s best as part of The Disruption Company and I am thrilled to see them both step in to new growth roles,” Troy Ruhanen, president and CEO, TBWA\Worldwide, said.
“It has been a pure privilege to spend the last two decades building TBWA\Asia into one of the most dynamic agency groups in Asia. I’ve worked with many of the world’s best brands, and the most talented, creative and innovative people I have grown to love and respect. It’s now time for the next opportunity and I am thrilled to return to London and to work closely with Ruhanen to help write the next chapter of TBWA. I can do so with a clear conscience that Pearman will be at the helm,” Brett said.
“The optimism, ambition and rich variety of the Asia region makes it a brilliant canvas for TBWA’s unrelenting focus on creativity and innovation, and I look forward to partnering with Brett to turbocharge that entrepreneurial spirit to the benefit of TBWA’s clients and people,” Pearman said.