Saatchi & Saatchi CEO and operations chief exit as global boss dismisses rumours famous brand will withdraw from Singapore





The chief executive and head of operations at Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore have left the agency as major changes at the newly formed Publicis Communications continue to unfold at a local level.

CEO Shannon Cullum and chief operations director Esther Yue, who have worked for the famous agency brand for 41 years combined, both left the agency at the same time. Their roles will not be replaced.

Cullum joined Saatchi in 2003 as regional director, while Yue has worked for the agency in two different stints, first from 1984 until 2009, and then from 2013.

Their departures come just a few months after Publicis Worldwide Singapore CEO Lou Dela Pena was appointed as local lead for Publicis Communications, a new unit that will oversee agency brands Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi as well as Publicis in this market.

Dela Pena is running Publicis Communications and is also in charge of the individual agency brands in Singapore.

The news also comes just a month after Chris Chiu, who re-joined Leo Burnett Singapore as CEO and chief creative officer just nine months ago, abruptly departed. His role will also not be replaced.

The formation of Publicis Communications, which was announced by Publicis Groupe at the start of the year as part of a major restructure of the company after the collapse of a proposed merger with Omnicom, has been billed as a move to remove silos and get clients closer to the work.

Singapore is one of the first markets globally to see the formation of Publicis Communications play out at a local level.

Meanwhile, rumours circulating the market that the Saatchi & Saatchi brand maybe withdrawn from the market altogether after a worryingly quiet few years for a once-great agency have been denied by the global CEO.

Robert Senior, the global head of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, told Mumbrella that this was categorically not happening in light of the recent management changes locally in Singapore.

“If anything the Saatchi brand will grow from strength to strength [in Singapore],” he wrote in an email.

Publicis Groupe fleshed out details of the formation of a new group for markets outside of the biggest top 20, branded Publicis One, last week. Nicolas Menat, president of Japan-based advertising agency Beacon Communications, is to lead Publicis One in APAC, while former Leo Burnett APAC boss Jarek Ziebinski is running the business globally.

Publicis named the regional boss of Zenith Optimedia, now known just as Zenith, Gerry Boyle, as head of the newly formed media unit Publicis Media earlier last month, although how the formation of Publicis Media will impact senior regional jobs at the individual agency brands remains unclear.


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