IPG Mediabrands appoints Scott McBride from Ogilvy as APAC chief digital officer

Scott McBrideIPG Mediabrands has hired a new regional head of digital, Mumbrella can reveal.

Scott McBride joins as APAC chief digital officer from Ogilvy Hong Kong, where he was managing partner, to take on the top digital position for the new-look media agency group.

He will move from Hong Kong to Singapore, the agency’s regional HQ, to take on the role, reporting to IPG Mediabrands’ Sydney-based APAC COO Reg Davidson.

McBride comes in to do a similar job previously carried out by Valli Lakshmanan, who was hired from Mobext in April 2015, but lasted just eight months in the role of APAC head of digital before moving on.

Lakshmanan replaced Yean Cheong, who is now running IPG Mediabrands’ agency trading desk Cadreon across the region.

The agency says that McBride’s role, as APAC chief digital officer, is a newly created position to “drive innovation and adaptability of Mediabrands’ digital product to its key global and regional clients.”

He has a brief to build the agency’s capabilities in search, for agency unit Reprise, social (for Rally/Society), mobile (Ansible) and programmatic (Cadreon), and will work with the account servicing. digital buying and activation teams for both the UM and Initiative brands.

Davidson, formerly the CFO of IPG Mediabrands Australia, who was recently moved into the APAC COO position, said in a statement shared with Mumbrella this afternoon: “In Scott, we found a perfect blend of someone with a keen sense of business acumen and raw entrepreneurial energy who is adept at translating ideas into tangible business solutions. Scott’s long-standing digital experience and multi-cultural exposure are invaluable assets and we are excited to have him join us as we move forward towards becoming a dynamic and agile agency.”

McBride has moved steadily up the ranks at Ogilvy during a solid career with the WPP creative agency. He joined as GM of the Kuala Lumpur office in 2008, moving from Scotland where he ran Oceanseventy, a Glasgow-based graphic design agency he founded in 2002.

He moved to Hong Kong with Ogilvy in 2010 as regional business director, and was promoted two years to run digital media offering Neo@Ogilvy as MD, then named managing partner a year ago.

The hire comes at a period of major change for the network, with a number of comings and goings in recent months, most significantly the hire of Leigh Terry, a long-timer with Omnicom Media Group in Australia, as Sydney-based APAC CEO earlier this week. Terry takes over in December.

IPG Mediabrands Hong Kong CEO Lilian Leong moved on to a startup last week with no replacement announced. Lee Leggett, Australia CEO of Initiative, moved on earlier this week.

The agency’s former regional head Prashant Kumar, who was CEO of the World Markets cluster that removed by global CEO Henry Tajer at the beginning of the year in place of a geographical approach, left after a 13-year stint in March, and has since recruited the likes of former Mediabrands colleagues Ramakrishnan C.N. and Derek Tan to join his new consultancy Entropia.

McBride’s former Ogilvy colleague Tom Wan moved to IPG Mediabrands China as CEO at the end of last year, a move that saw former boss Cary Huang move on.

McBride’s appointment is effective as of 29 August.

He commented on his appointment: “In IPG Mediabrands I found a group of agencies with a phenomenal underlying mantra for digital. ‘Dynamic by Design’ is the guiding light through which all CMOs should, and must, address their investments to build adaptive and responsive client brands that are constantly engaging with customers to deliver innovative products and services. With Mediabrands’ range of Technology, IP and Strategy capabilities I’m very much looking forward to the exciting times ahead”.


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