Ogilvy refuses to comment on firing of Tham Khai Meng, its worldwide chief creative officer

Tham Khai Meng has left Ogilvy

Ogilvy has refused to comment on the firing of Singaporean Tham Khai Meng, its longtime worldwide chief creative officer, beyond an internal memo issued to staff by the chief executive officer John Seifert.

The CCO had been in the role for nine years and is also an advisor to Facebook and Twitter. He was let go from the Ogilvy New York office over complaints about his behaviour, following an internal investigation at the agency.

He previously worked at Leo Burnett and Batey, and is reported to be married and in his 60s. He also led Ogilvy to win the Cannes Lions Network of the Year award five years in a row from 2012 onwards. And he was the first Singaporean to be appointed as a global chief creative officer

Khai’s behaviour was a clear breach of company values, said Seifert

Below is the full statement from Seifert:

Two weeks ago, I was informed of employee complaints regarding the behaviour of Tham Khai Meng, Chief Creative Officer of The Ogilvy Group.

I found these complaints serious enough to appoint external legal counsel to investigate the matter.

After carefully reviewing the investigation’s findings with several of my partners, we concluded that Khai’s behavior was a clear breach of our company values and code of conduct. I have decided to terminate Khai’s employment with the company with immediate effect.

Each year, we ask every employee in the company to read, authorize, and fully commit to a code of conduct that each of us is responsible for living up to. Over the past 70 years, we have institutionalized shared values and a standard of professional behavior unique to the Ogilvy brand.

This is an important moment to reaffirm that no individual in this company is too senior or too important not to be held accountable for their actions.

Thank you for your support.


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