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Lou Dela Pena handed broader role leading Publicis Communications in Singapore

Lou Dela PenaLou Dela Pena, the CEO of Publicis Worldwide Singapore, has been handed a broader role leading Publicis Communications, a new unit set up at the end of last year which encompasses Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi as well as her own network, Mumbrella can reveal.

The spirited Filipina took the reins of Publicis Singapore – her first role as a CEO – less than two years ago, joining the agency after an eight-year spell at TBWA\Singapore.

She will continue to perform the CEO role in addition to her new job, and her appointment does not mean management changes at the other Publicis Groupe agencies. However, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi for Singapore and Malaysia, Shannon Cullum, is moving on, according to sources.

Loris Nold, the former regional head of Publicis Worldwide, who himself has a new role running Publicis Communications across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said that Dela Pena’s promotion was part of a plan to improve how Publicis Groupe communications agencies work together.

“One of Publicis Communications’ key objectives is to strengthen cross-agency collaboration and expertise in every market for the direct benefit of our clients,” he said in a statement.

“In Singapore specifically, we asked Lou Dela Pena to lead our efforts and in this capacity she will partner very closely with our agencies’ CEOs. Lou has had two incredible years at the helm of Publicis Worldwide Singapore and I have no doubt that she will do a great job.”

Since Dela Pena took over from Dean Bramham in February 2014, Publicis Singapore office has gained considerable momentum in the market, winning new accounts including Accor, Scoot, Nikon and Audi, and hiring creative talent including Troy Lim and Jon Loke from Ogilvy.

Dela Pena commented on her new role: “Publicis Communications is an incredible accelerator for us. I am truly excited to be working more closely with Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, both amazing agencies, and their leaders to make it come to life and lead the growth for the Singapore market”.

The move comes a month after Publicis Groupe, the holding company from which Publicis Worldwide takes its name, announced a major plan to reorganise into four different units to eliminate silos and offer a more integrated service for clients. Under the banner Publicis Communications sit agency brands Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Dela Pena’s new role does not cover BBH.

Soon after she joined Publicis in 2014, Dela Pena told Mumbrella in an interview: “Though I was approached by a number of agencies, what Publicis could offer was better than anyone else could – a real opportunity to lead change. Not just for clients and to create great work, but for the office – building a culture, and attracting and grooming the right talent, which is my first priority.”

On securing her first CEO role, she added: “I believe these sort of opportunities always find you. I followed my instincts and my heart.”

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