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Ogilvy Singapore boss Fiona Gordon returns to the UK, COO Chris Riley succeeds her as chairman

Gordon

Gordon

Fiona Gordon is moving on after four years at the helm of Ogilvy’s Singapore office.

Chris Riley, who was promoted to COO of Ogilvy & Mather Singapore at the start of the year, has moved into Gordon’s chairman role.

Gordon, who began her career with the network as a graduate trainee in London in the ’90s, is returning home to the UK and a role within the Ogilvy group.

Riley will report to regional COO Kent Wertime. A new COO is to be announced in due course, the agency says.

Gordon stepped into the top job in 2011, succeeding Stephen Mangham, who later left and started his own agency, which was recently acquired by Dentsu Aegis.

Paul Heath, chairman of O&M Asia Pacific said in a press statement: “It goes without saying that we have a lot to thank Fiona for when it comes to making our Singapore operation a world-class international hub for the network. Last year alone, Fiona led our efforts in crowning O&M Singapore as Campaign Asia’s Creative Agency of the Year, Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year, and her eye for new business also saw O&M win the #1 position in R3’s New Business League with thanks to some significant local wins.”

“It was no surprise when she also took home the very well earned accolade as Campaign Asia’s Southeast Asia Agency Head of the Year. We wish her great success back in Ogilvy London,” Heath said.

Gordon’s stint running one of Singapore’s biggest and for some time most successful agencies, has been eventful.

Though the agency has downsized after losing a chunk of Unilever and the merger of production unit RedWorks with Hogarth, Gordon is credited with turning Ogilvy into a more client centric organisation and introducing some much needed diversity to the management line-up. Ogilvy Singapore was named agency of the year by Marketing Magazine and Campaign Asia last year.

Ogilvy landed one of Singapore’s biggest advertisers, Singtel, from BBDO in 2013. But the agency’s big rebranding campaign for Singtel at the start of this year got a mixed reception, with some pointing out that the slogan ‘Let’s make everyday better’ didn’t make grammatical sense.

The agency has been in the news with work that has been widely entered at awards shows. In May last year, the #CokeDrones campaign saw cans of Coke and messages of support airlifted into the hands of migrant construction workers. The idea was described as “rodeo PR” by a journalist who writes about the difficulties migrant workers face in Singapore.

Ogilvy’s ‘Mums and maids’ campaign from earlier this year called on Singapore’s domestic workers to be given a day off with a video that suggested that maids know children better than the child’s mother. It was called out for shaming women and exploiting a serious issue to win awards by a blogger on Twitter.

Gordon was regional president, global brand management, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific in Hong Kong for a year before moving to Singapore, where she’d worked for a year as regional business director, O&M Asia Pacific in 2004.

Gordon has worked for Ogilvy in London, where she started her career as an account executive in 1992, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Chris Riley

Riley

Riley is also an Ogilvy veteran, beginning his career with the network in 1995 with OgilvyOne Worldwide Hong Kong, then relocating in 2004 to lead the OgilvyOne operation in Singapore as MD. He led OgilvyOne across South Asia in 2008, and in 2010 was appointed MD of IBM Brand Services for global emerging markets in Singapore.

Wertime said of Riley’s appointment: “We can’t be more thrilled to have Chris leading our operation in Singapore, and more proud to make such a significant appointment via our internal ranks. He has already contributed consistently to our Singapore business year-after-year, so I have no hesitation that he’s the person to help us maintain our leading position particularly in the areas of digital, data, social, and other growing parts of our business.”

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