Facebooker and former Ogilvy MD Sulin Lau goes to Grab as marketing head

Former Facebook head of agency for South East Asia Sulin Lau has been appointed by Grab as its regional head of country marketing, with the news coming in the same week that a $14 billion valuation was put on the company.

Lau comes from an agency background – having previously worked for Ogilvy where she was the Kuala Lumpur managing director and before that as a planner at BBDO, DDB and Leo Burnett.

The move could suggest that Grab might be softening its stance towards agencies – back in 2017, Grab vice-president of marketing Cheryl Goh told the Mumbrella360 Asia conference that agencies were not always agile enough or affordable enough for the ride-sharing company to use them consistently – by bringing in someone with experience of that world.

Or conversely it could be the polar opposite is true, meaning that the firm will be doing even more in-house marketing as time goes on because it has upskilled its in-house team.

Mumbrella did approach Grab for comment, but the company would only state: “We’re confirming that Sulin has joined us as regional head of country marketing; no particular statement.”

Lau was also approached, but had yet to respond at the time of publishing.

On her LinkedIn profile, Lau refers to her “accidental career in marketing”, adding: “With each new tech/data/platform opportunity, someone always needs to bridge what’s possible and what’s practical. I like being that someone.

“As a retired strategist and semi-rehabilitated nerd, I’d still like to think that I’d never take on any job so senior it doesn’t allow me the time to study how something works for myself.”

Lau has studied at the prestigious London School of Economics in the United Kingdom, as well as the London Business School.

She also runs her own sideline project, which provides marketing ‘ideation’ flash cards to start-ups and non-profits that enable them to “think and create like a big-budget marketer”. Lau claimed it was a “hobby-turned-product”.


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