Jean-Paul Burge (pictured left) is stepping down from his role as chairman and CEO of BBDO Asia after 18 years with the agency. He will be relocating to Europe with his family. Greater China CEO Tze Kiat Tan (pictured second from right) will succeed him in the role of regional chairman and CEO.
Tan, who is and will be based in Shanghai, has also been with BBDO for 18 years. She joined as a group account director in BBDO Shanghai, then ran that agency and was promoted to CEO of BBDO Greater China in 2015. She joined the board of BBDO Worldwide in 2019. Under her leadership, BBDO Greater China has been an important strategic component of the BBDO network: servicing multinational clients whilst building an impressive roster of local clients, expanding its service offerings, and hiring and developing excellent local talent.
Andrew Robertson, president and CEO, BBDO Worldwide, said he is excited about the tenacity and energy Tan will bring to her new responsibilities. “I’d also like to thank Burge for his dedication and commitment to our business during his time at BBDO, especially in the last two challenging years under COVID-19," he added.
Meanwhile, Tan said she is delighted to be taking on this new and exciting role, adding that she knows her colleagues in Asia and most of BBDO's regional clients well. "My first order of business is to get to know the region even better, engage with our teams and clients, and listen, learn, and figure out how I can help. BBDO Asia is delivering a solid performance, and we have strong in-country leadership. My task will be about building an even stronger culture, capability, performance, and consistency," she added.
At the same time, BBDO Asia has promoted Hans Lopez-Vito (pictured second from left) from Greater China COO to chief operating officer Asia. During his more than a decade tenure at the firm, Lopez-Vito established the renowned planning function in BBDO China and has been the architect of much of the agency’s new business success. In his new role, he will be developing our planning capability, driving plans for transformation and growth, and cementing multi-country client relationships.
The agency also promoted Beck You (pictured right) from MD Beijing to CEO, Greater China. Under his leadership, BBDO Beijing has doubled over the past three years on the back of local client wins, has attracted talent to the agency, and has redefined what a future-facing agency in China should look like.
The agency has had some leadership changes over the past few years. Last year, Singapore MD Nick Morrell left the agency and was succeeded by GM Monica Hynds, who has over 20 years of industry experience. Meanwhile, BBDO Asia's former head of strategy, Andy Wilson, joined Ogilvy Consulting Asia last December to launch its sustainability practice in Asia as senior partner, sustainability.
In 2020, it appointed Tay Guan Hin to the role of chief creative officer in Singapore. Burge previously described Tay to be "a tremendous creative with an impressive and long-standing reputation that is more than well deserved".
Meanwhile that same year, BBDO also shut its office in Malaysia , laying off 21 individuals. The agency also reduced its presence in Hong Kong, concentrating its creative resources and work from that market into Beijing and Shanghai. It was previously understood that 16 employees in Hong Kong have been laid off.
Burge told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE previously that the agency is not going back to how things were but moving forward instead. As such, it has decided to realign its capabilities and resources with the expectations and demands it anticipates from clients in the future, and thus the potential for BBDO's business in the region.
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