Burson-Marsteller APAC boss Margaret Key departs for Zeno Group

The ex-chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific has left the agency two months after it was merged with Cohn & Wolfe.

Margaret Key, who has led Burson-Marsteller since 2015, has joined Zeno Group as CEO for APAC, replacing the recently-moved John Kerr. 

Key was seemingly passed over for leadership of the new WPP agency, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, in favour of Matt Stafford after the global consolidation. Instead, she was handed leadership of AxiCom, Cohn & Wolfe’s technology agency.

In the newly-created CEO post, Key will lead Zeno’s 135 staff in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Based in Seoul, Korea, Key will be tasked with handling clients such as Lenovo, Wuling Motors, Netflix, Intel, Prudential, Johnson & Johnson and Temasek.

She said: “Zeno’s fearless, entrepreneurial culture is the perfect place for me, and the ideal opportunity at this time given their incredible momentum globally and commitment specifically to expanding in Asia.”

Owned by Daniel J. Edelman, Zeno Group is commonly referred to as independent network Edelman’s conflict agency. 

Until January, Zeno Group had been led across APAC by its managing director and chief digital officer John Kerr, who is now the vice chairman, digital and performance, for Edelman Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

In the interim, the agency was led by three managing directors in Asia-Pacific, including Papri Dev in India, David Lian in Malaysia and Matt Collette in Singapore.

Key previously worked at Edelman in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, before joining Burson-Marsteller in 2010 as Korea market leader.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Margaret’s high profile and caliber join Zeno in Asia Pacific, a vitally important region as our business continues to expand and globalise,” said Barby K. Siegel, CEO of Zeno Group.

“In addition to her deft leadership skills, Margaret understands the balance of local experience and global strategy. This is especially important as more and more of our clients look to us for an integrated Asia solution.”


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