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Jeffrey Seah departs Starcom: ‘The network will miss a force of nature’

Jeff SeahJeffrey Seah, one of the most recognised figures on Southeast Asia’s media scene, is leaving Starcom.

The outspoken Singaporean, who has worked for the media agency in two stints over 15 years, the last seven as Southeast Asia CEO, is working out his notice before moving on.

In a statement Gerry Boyle, the newly appointed CEO of Publicis Media Asia Pacific, a new unit born of a far-reaching restructure by parent Publicis Groupe to rationalise its media offering, said: “Jeffrey has been a colleague, friend and a partner from the onset. The network will miss a force of nature and the wider business world will now benefit from his drive.”

“Jeffrey leaves Starcom in great hands; in Singapore, Patricia Goh will continue her great work, and the leaders of the Southeast Asia brands will continue their exemplary work and continue to win businesses. I wish him my very best, and have a feeling we will work together again in the future.”

Southeast Asia is now part of Publicis One, a global unit that oversees all agencies outside its top 20 countries, with an APAC CEO announced in March.

Seah commented: “Throughout my SMG journey, I was blessed with bosses and colleagues who showed me the ropes (until this day) unconditionally, and guided me patiently. No ‘startup’ environment can thrive without such a value-based culture. I owe a debt of gratitude to Rishad Tobaccowala, Jack Klues, Andrew Swinand and the many SMG Southeast Asia leaders for their belief and trust in me over the years.”

The 46 year-old was director of media at Leo Burnett Singapore in the mid-to-late nineties before the media business was spun-off to form Starcom, where he later became the first Singaporean to be appointed a regional CEO by a foreign ad network, as noted in a profile on Seah in Peak Magazine.

He leaves the role of CEO, Southeast Asia, and chair, Asia Digital Leadership Team, a seven and a half year term that followed two and a half years with Mindshare, where he was first Singapore CEO, then given responsibility for Indonesia and Malaysia.

His career has been about Starcom, a brand he launched in Singapore, and where he drove the digital agenda bringing in Starcom IP across the region, and after Mindshare returned to helm the Southeast Asia operations and VivaKi chair.

His departure comes the week after Prashant Kumar, the long-serving president of IPG Mediabrands world markets Asia, also moved on. Kumar has joined the consultancy Entropia.

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