TBWA\Malaysia has promoted MD Yee Hui Tsin to CEO, effective immediately, close to three years after she was promoted to MD from COO. According to TBWA, Yee (pictured) "disrupted and evolved the agency's way of thinking" during the pandemic. She has also adapted and embraced the "elevated demands" of the environment and policy based on all business throughout last year.
Her time with the agency saw the launch of capabilities such as BOLT, Design X Disruption, 65db and Halal Wave, an in-depth thought leadership programme. As a result of investing in people and capabilities, TBWA said Yee has created a more creative and diverse environment where her teams flourished, while bolstering the agency’s client roster - U Mobile's prepaid business, Lazada, PepsiCo, Abbott Nutrition, Baskin Robbins and Sarawak Tourism for the China market.
Yee told A+M that the pandemic delivered layers of uncertainty - at speed - across all industries, and she is certain the feeling of vulnerability was experienced at some point by all businesses.
"TBWA’s philosophy and methodology of disruption became more essential than ever as it provided us with a competitive roadmap to navigate a future we had yet to imagine for ourselves and our clients. We relearnt, we were challenged and we reflected on our abilities as a business partner," she explained.
The agency has aspired to future-proof itself and its clients over the last five years. So while TBWA "paused, observed and monitored its respective situations early in 2020", Yee said it also felt a sense of preparedness for large scale change. Among the list of innovations it leveraged to evolve and adapt included 10X, a platform tool for sharing the best initiatives from the global collective; and its weekly SMS Pulse Survey which allows employees to anonymously communicate directly with the leadership team around issues they would like addressed to help improve their working situation.
Moving forward, Yee's vision for the agency is to be consistently at the top in creative circles; maintain a strong, effective working partnership with all clients and be a business that drives change in the world. She is also on the lookout for candidates with fire in the belly.
"When I meet talent who are curious, passionate, hungry, and excited to make things happen - that is infectious. I look for people who have pride in what they do, are fearless in their thinking and unafraid to take the leap, they need to be brave. And that's what makes our culture, distinctive and disruptive," she explained.
As companies navigate through uncertain waters in the new normal, Yee said the advertising industry must be agile. According to her, businesses have accelerated and consolidated their digital transformation from a two-year roll out into two months due to the pandemic.
"Clients are digital-first with an eCommerce mindset. And the threat to the industry is that clients are now looking at their agency partners through a different lens; assessing creative capabilities to propel business growth, driving strategies with data and challenging marketing effectiveness with building market distinctiveness," she explained. Yee said if the industry is not at the forefront solving the needs of our clients' businesses, then it is not innovating quickly enough.
President TBWA\Asia Sean Donovan said: "Yee's vision in driving transformation over the last two years, resulted in positive growth for the agency." According to him, Yee embodies the values its best leaders aspire to live by: client-centric, creatively disruptive, future focused but importantly, also humble, nurturing and caring. "She has built an incredible team in Malaysia that delivers amazing work and growth for our clients," he added.
A+Ms Content 360 Week is back from 6 to 8 April this year! Super charge your content production, distribution and monetisation strategies by learning from brands such as NBA Asia, P&G, Malaysia Airlines, and Marriott International, among others. Sign up today!