JWT launches Asian innovation hub with ex-journalist Chen May Yee at helm

J. Walter Thompson has launched the Asian unit of its trend and research division, JWT Innovation.

The new hub will be led by Kuala Lumpur-based Chen May Yee, a former journalist for The Wall Street Journal in Asia and for the Straits Times in Singapore.

The announcement: 

The Innovation Group produces thought leadership, consumer insight and sector innovation content, and offers a range of consultancy services that help clients understand what’s happening now and next, and how this matters to their brand.  JWT Innovation, which is part of the JWT Intelligence market research group, has existing hubs in New York, the Middle East and London.

“Getting under the skin of what’s happening in this rich, diverse region is core to both our clients, and our global network,” said John Gutteridge, J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific CEO. “We’re constantly looking at ways to uncover fresh insights that help deliver effective ideas.”

The network has appointed Chen May Yee, a seasoned journalist with two decades of experience reporting on business, health and consumer issues, to the newly-created role of Asia Pacific Director of the JWT Innovation Group.  Chen, who is based in Kuala Lumpur, reports to JWT Asia Pacific CEO John Gutteridge, as well as Lucie Greene, who is Worldwide Director of the JWT Innovation Group.

Chen has worked as a journalist in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States over the last twenty years.  She was a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and the Wall Street Journal in Asia, and later worked in the US as an editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune with a team covering healthcare, medical devices, real estate, food and consumer issues.

She has also edited international news for Singapore’s Straits Times and written stories on trends and culture for the international edition of the New York Times and Forbes.  She has worked for J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific as a freelance communications consultant for the last two years.

Chen has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University in New York, and a BSc in Economics and Sociology from Bristol University.

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of the JWT Innovation Group, said: “May’s vast experience working for leading media organisations across the world and covering so many different subjects is a huge asset for the JWT Innovation Group, helping us achieve our ambition of providing clients with a truly global outlook.”

Chen May Yee, Director of the JWT Innovation Group in Asia Pacific, said: “I’m thrilled to be working with JWT’s talented Innovation Group to build up our trend research in Asia. The world is getting smaller each year, and these days, trends are just as likely to emerge from Singapore or Shanghai as they are from London or New York.”

Source: JWT


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