TBWA announces new leadership structure, APAC HQ moves from Hong Kong to Singapore, Phil Brett named Asia president

Philip Brett

Philip Brett

TBWA has restructured its management tier in Asia, moved its regional HQ from Hong Kong to Singapore, and confirmed the arrival of Y&R China’s president and chief creative officer Nils Andersson to perform the same role for the Omnicom advertising agency.

The appointment marks a return to the agency for Andersson after a decade with other ad firms including Ogilvy & Mather.

Long-serving South and Southeast Asia boss Phil Brett, who has been with the company in its various forms since 1993, has been rewarded with a job running the region, including China and Oceania.

The move is part of an operational rethink that sees TBWA move to a global client market structure and new regional operating groups introduced.

The rethink sees Keith Smith, international president of TBWA, shift into a new role as president, international – global markets.

Luke Eid, TBWA\Worldwide’s New York-based global innovation director who in June last year moved from the Hong Kong office where he ran TBWA’s Digital Arts Network for three years, has been given another role as global president of DAN.

Brian Swords, who has worked for TBWA for 14 years, will continue as MD of TBWA\Shanghai for the time being before relocating to Europe later in the year.

Joanne Lao, previously head of TBWA Hong Kong, has been promoted to CEO of TBWA\Greater China as part of the company’s global initiative to move more women into more senior roles.

Troy Ruhanen, president and CEO of TBWA\Worldwide said: “TBWA is a creative company and many of our offices have creative leaders at the helm, this being the second creative we have put in charge of one of our key offices this year.

“Nils [Andersson] comes with a stellar reputation in the region and a belief in using Disruption to create business changing creative ideas. Adding to his skills those of Joanne Lao, who has built TBWA\Hong Kong into a modern, truly integrated agency, I’m looking forward to seeing what they can create together in China. We are making a pledge to increase female leadership in our company with Project 2020, and having Joanne leading one of our key offices is testament to our belief in that initiative.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing