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Publicis Groupe APAC expands senior leadership team

Publicis Groupe APAC expands senior leadership team

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Publicis Groupe Asia Pacific (APAC) has appointed four new leaders in an effort to strengthen its senior leadership team. The appointments are promotions from within the group and are newly created roles. They also aim to power growth in the APAC region. 

Joanna Ong (pictured far left) has transitioned from her role as managing director of MSL Singapore to managing director, communications and PR, Publicis Groupe APAC. Based in Singapore and Shanghai, Ong is responsible for communications in the region across the group. She reports to Jane Lin-Baden, CEO of Publicis Groupe APAC. 

Don't miss: Publicis Groupe Singapore acquires AKA Asia

Ong is a senior communications practitioner with over 25 years of experience in reputation management, corporate and brand strategy, and communications. She started her public relations career at Burson-Marsteller in 2000 and later moved into in-house roles in 2003 as brand PR and communications manager, APAC at InterContinental Hotels Group. 

Other hospitality conglomerates she's worked at include Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group as its vice president, PR and communications, APAC and Hilton Worldwide as its vice president, corporate communications, APAC. 

She returned to the public relations industry in 2021 to lead MSL Singapore’s transformation and growth and left the company in October last year. 

In tandem, Publicis Groupe APAC promoted Jonathan Mackenzie (pictured left) from managing director of Publicis Media Precision APAC to head of data solutions, Publicis Groupe APAC. Based in Singapore, Mackenzie is responsible for the growth of data-driven products and solutions that power advertising transformation for the group's clients across media and creative. 

He reports to Sapna Nemani, chief solutions officer of Publicis Groupe APAC. 

Mackenzie has over 20 years of experience in digital advertising. He spearheaded the launch of Publicis Media Precision in 2017 and played a key role in regional and global new business wins including GSK, Singapore Tourism Board and AB InBev. 

Prior to his years at Publicis, he was the head of digital at Omnicom Media Group, Ireland from December 2009 to September 2011 and later a director of platform strategy at OMD International from October 2011 to September 2013. He became Omnicom Media Group's regional head of social in 2013. 

In addition, Martin Davie (pictured right) has been promoted from managing director, international, Publicis Media Singapore to head of performance, Publicis Groupe APAC. 

In his new role, Davie will focus on enhancing the group's regional performance capabilities and will instill a performance-centric approach across the group's offerings. He reports to Ching Ian, CEO of PMX APAC and Nemani. 

Lastly, Pauly Grant (pictured far right) has been promoted to chief talent officer. She will continue to be responsible for ANZ's human resource portfolio and will focus on driving the region's talent and culture strategy to support the group's business strategy. 

She will work closely with the market chief talent officers and the APAC executive committee and reports to Lin-Baden. 

"We are delighted to be able to appoint our top talents from within our ranks who have demonstrated their capabilities into these key roles. This both underscores the breadth and depth of talent we have within the group and the fact that we are an organisation that recognises and rewards top talent with opportunities for growth and mobility," said Jane Lin-Baden, CEO, Asia Pacific, Publicis Groupe.

"With these latest appointments, we are strengthening our core leadership team as we move ahead with our strategy to create even greater impact for clients and further elevate our position in the region.”

This slew of appointment comes after Publicis Groupe Singapore acquired AKA Asia in January this year. 

The acquisition marked a significant step in expanding and diversifying Publicis Groupe's capabilities in the Southeast Asian market. AKA Asia will bolster the Groupe's strategic communications, PR and influence offering in the region. 

"We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of AKA Asia, which has a stellar reputation in Singapore and will complement our existing agency capabilities to deliver exceptional solutions for our clients," said Amrita Randhawa, chief executive officer for Publicis Groupe Singapore and Southeast Asia.

"The AKA founders, Kate O’Shea and Amy Wright, have built an incredible operation with a solid track record for conceptualising and delivering fearless creative communications campaigns to a broad range of consumer and corporate clients. We are excited to welcome them and the team into our family," she added.

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