Wunderman Thompson Indonesia kicks off 2021 with a new leadership team

Wunderman Thompson Indonesia has kickstarted 2021 with a refreshed leadership team. The agency has hired Adam Thurland as its chief strategy officer, Philipp Cerny as its ECD, and Neelakshi Medhi as its business director. It also promoted its associate creative director, Nicole Hedemann, to the role of integrated content director. According to WundermanThompson Indonesia, the new appointments highlight its "ambitious and progressive vision for 2021".

Under the leadership of its CEO Vaishali Sarkar, Wunderman Thompson Indonesia has plans to offer end-to-end brand solutions focusing on experience design, data and commerce capabilities in 2021. According to a press release, the agency also aims to work actively towards creating future-fit solutions for brands and its consumers. Sarkar said its 2021 leadership team is now "hugely diverse", and each leader represents skills and capabilities that help build a creative, data and technology power house. "I am delighted to include talented new members in our A-team. Together we set out to challenge convention and elevate connection with cut-through creativity, all for the benefit of our clients,” she added. 

Cerny was a founding member of creative project house PUNX, working mostly with Chinese tech platforms, and was recently at the creative helm of the China office of global independent agency Jung Von Matt. Meanwhile, Thurland led development of the Google Design Sprint Chapter in Shanghai, and also co-founded Furlonteer.com in 2020, a solution platform to connect volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to joining Wunderman Thompson. 

Its new business director Medhi is said to bring to the team a strategic business direction with her past experience as brand strategy consultant on brands such as Burger King and Teman Bumil. Separately, Hedemann brings with her customer experience and user experience design (UX) expertise during her time with Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong, her past clients including brands such as HSBC and Swire Hotels.

Additionally, the agency's refreshed leadership team also includes recent hires Torbjorn Aksdal who helms the role of experience design director, and Viney Bhatia who heads the agency's finance department. Aksdal, who joined Wunderman Thompson to bolster its customer experience capabilities, will have an expanded role overseeing UX/ UI this year. Both Aksdal and Bhatia joined the agency earlier in 2020. 

Similarly, Wunderman Thompson's director of strategic services Retna Murti will take on a holistic strategy role this year, while Henco Moller, who had joined as a business consultant in April 2020, takes on a new role as eBusiness lead, driving momentum for all capabilities. Moller will also lead partnerships and new business initiatives for the Indonesia operation.

Annette Male, CEO of Wunderman Thompson APAC, said: “While 2020 was a year of obstacles, it also provided us with the proof that our Indonesia team is one that is quick to adapt and evolve along with the rapid changes in the industry. Indonesia is seeing rapid growth in the demand for CX and Commerce, which is where we will continue to invest in key talent to support our clients businesses."

This year also saw the exit of Wunderman Thompson Indonesia MD Daniel Hagmeijer, who joined The Body Shop Indonesia as chief digital officer this month. Hagmeijer recounted his time at Wunderman Thompson in a LinkedIn post, saying that he is "truly humbled to have worked with such an amazingly talented group of people at the forefront of creativity, data, and technology over the past seven years."

Meanwhile in Malaysia, Wunderman Thompson recently named Kit Ong as its new ECD, replacing Paul Lim who joined Grey Group. Ong returns to the ad scene in Malaysia after his experiences in Shanghai and Vietnam, which he termed as "a fantastic journey" as he learnt and practiced advertising creativity in those two markets when speaking to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. He added that the experience of helping brands thrive in a data-driven eCommerce world as fast-paced as those two countries will be immensely useful back in Malaysia.

Related Articles:
Wunderman Thompson lures Kit Ong back to Malaysia as ECD
Wunderman Thompson ECD Paul Lim heads to Grey Group
Daniel Hagmeijer joins The Body Shop Indonesia as CDO