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JWT Bangkok CEO Bob Hekkelman returns to Europe after 16 years in Asia

The long-serving chief executive officer of J. Walter Thompson Bangkok is leaving the agency after 10 years to return to The Netherlands.

Bob Hekkelman: ‘ I had the privilege to work with the best and brightest colleagues and clients.’

Bob Hekkelman, who also served as JWT South East Asia CEO, is to leave the region after 16 years, although Mumbrella Asia understands efforts are being made to keep him in the agency network in Europe.

Jacco ter Schegget, Hekkelman’s recently appointed replacement as South East Asia CEO, will oversee the Bangkok operation on an interim basis until a permanent CEO is on-board, the agency said.

According to the agency, under Hekkelman’s leadership, JWT Thailand grew to encompass 300 people across five different business divisions.

Before joining JWT Bangkok in 2007, Hekkelman led JWT Indonesia for two years, and previously worked as the group managing director of Ogilvy Manila. 

“I speak not only for myself, but for the agency, our clients, industry peers and everyone who’s had the pleasure of working with Bob, how sorry we are to see him leave Asia,” said John Gutteridge, CEO of J. Walter Thompson APAC.

“His contribution to the network has been immense and we thank him for having made a considerable positive impact as CEO of Southeast Asia, as well as having help build J Walter Thompson Bangkok into the powerhouse it is today. We know it was a difficult, but necessary, decision for him to head back to Europe and we wish him and his family all the very best for their next chapter.”

Hekkelman added: “My 16 years in Asia has been a truly amazing experience. I had the privilege to work with the best and brightest colleagues and clients. I am very proud of the things we achieved and the people we achieved them with. We are facing a time of great opportunity and I am very convinced of JWT and Mirum’s ability to lead the future with solutions that shape brands and people.”

Fellow Dutchman Schegget was most recently OgilvyOne China’s president before joining JWT in September. Before moving to Asia, he led Tribal Worldwide in Europe.

JWT Bangkok recently hired João Braga as its chief creative officer, following the departure of Satit Jantawiwat earlier this year.

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