AKA Asia has appointed Leya Teo as MD with immediate effect. Teo (pictured) joins AKA to spearhead its senior management team and propel the 55-strong agency into its next chapter of fearlessly creative growth. She was most recently VP at Edelman China where she was leading a practice spanning the Shanghai and Beijing offices. She returns to Singapore after nine years in China and Hong Kong.
During her seven-year tenure at Edelman, Teo was said to have driven growth for the agency and built a solid industry reputation for employee engagement by chairing an internal initiative with a mission to foster an environment where women and men of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities to grow, lead and succeed. Before that, Teo held senior roles at creative agencies in Hong Kong at J. Walter Thompson, and in Singapore at Cheil Worldwide.
Kate O'Shea, co-foundering partner, said the team was looking for someone with a like-minded entrepreneurial spirit, a shared passion for the true development of craft, and the authentic development of people. "We’ve found that and more in Teo," she said, adding that combining her commitment to the next generation of communications professionals, Teo’s strategic capability, regional mindset, and deep focus on culture building made her a clear match for AKA.
This comes as the agency looks to enhance its leadership team. "We’ve spent the first 13 years building a special kind of agency, focused on consistently delivering fearlessly creative work by an amazingly kick-ass team, for brave and passionate client partners. We owe it to the agency at large to continue to invest in inspirational talent, bold enough to challenge, innovate and strengthen our offer and reputation,” added O’Shea.
Meanwhile, Teo said she is home and is genuinely excited to be back after nine fulfilling years overseas. "It was important for me to find a role that provided the opportunity to combine amazing people with innovative work. Immediately I felt drawn to the fearlessly creative spirit at AKA and I’m looking forward to collaborating with the team to make 2023 a stellar year for the business, and building great partnerships with clients old and new over the coming years," she explained.
AKA's 55-man team includes a design and production arm of eight. Over the years, it has built up its portfolio to include LEGO, Meta, GIC, Tourism New Zealand, and RB, among others.
In August, the agency witnessed a leadership change when Julia Wei stepped down as managing partner after two years. She joined in 2020 from Lazada Group where she was previously VP, integrated communications (regional). At the height of the pandemic we stayed true to the agency's culture of putting people first, promoting and growing our talent and not making redundancies," she told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE previously.
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