Valerie Cheng leaves JWT Singapore for Facebook

One of Singapore’s most influential creative directors, Valerie Cheng, is moving on from J. Walter Thompson after more than five years with the agency, Mumbrella can reveal.

Valerie Cheng

Valerie Cheng

Cheng, who has been chief creative officer of the Singapore office for just under three years, and global ECD on the Shell lubricants business for the last two, is moving on to Facebook as head of its in-house advertising services arm Creative Shop, Southeast Asia.

Her new role is geared to helping brands on Facebook improve their advertising. 

Cheng’s departure emerges soon after the news that JWT hired former Havas Worldwide creative head Victor Ng as Singapore ECD. Ng will eventually replace her to lead the creative department when she moves on after a transitional period in February.

Cheng commented: “My tenure at J. Walter Thompson has taught me so much about creativity and leadership. I had a wonderful run in recent years with many amazing clients, who have all shown me what great partnership can do. As hard as it is to leave our wonderful team, I know I am leaving the agency in safe hands with Vic. I am now ready to take on new challenges and push my capabilities in a new and exciting domain.”

Cheng has been awarded at all the top awards shows, including Cannes, One Show, London International, Effies, Spikes Asia and Adfest, and has been among few women in Singapore to lead an ad agency creative department.

She was the first female chair of the Creative Circle Awards in 2010, and went on to be a judge at Spikes Asia and Cannes in 2011 and 2014, D&AD 2012 and 2015, the Clios in 2013 and One Show this year.

Cheng began her career as an art director at XM Asia, now Mirum, and has since worked at Leo Burnett’s digital agency Arc and Publicis Modem before joining JWT as ECD in 2010.

J. Walter Thompson Singapore’s CEO Peter Womersley commented: “Val has been a wonderful creative leader and helped make J. Walter Thompson Singapore a recognised creative powerhouse, not only in Singapore but also on the global stage. She has built a world-class creative team who will continue to deliver superb thinking under Vic’s stewardship and although she will be a loss to the agency world, I am pleased that she will maintain a close affiliation with JWT and our clients in her new role at Facebook.”

Facebook has made a number of senior hires from the agency side of the business in recent months, all from WPP companies.

The social giant brought in former Maxus regional boss Neil Stewart as head of agency, and more recently Mindshare Singapore CEO Nick Seckold as head of the Atlas team.


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