Lion & Lion has appointed Ben Chew as MD for Malaysia as Jeppe Carlsen assumes the role of group director, new business and strategy, a newly created regional role focused on the agency’s growth. Both Chew (pictured centre) and Carlsen (pictured right) will be reporting to group CEO Fredrik Gumpel.
In his new role, Chew will be leading the agency into the next stage of its successful transformation, along with playing a key role in propelling Lion & Lion's integrated marketing model at a regional level. Prior to Lion & Lion, Chew was MD of BBDO Malaysia, which announced in April that it is folding operations in Malaysia. He was appointed to the role at BBDO in September 2019, replacing Farrah Harith-McPherson who joined m/SIX as GM.
Before that, Chew was with Isobar Malaysia for four and a half years, leading the team to commercial and creative success, as well as helping the agency achieve double-digit growth, according to the press statement. Chew also spent a decade at McCann Malaysia, where he served as GM for three years. According to Chew, his time at McCann Malaysia was "the most pivotal years of his career" as it was there he developed his strong management competencies and business network. According to the press statement, Chew's flair for driving business success with a focus on brand experiences, creativity integrated with technology makes him a perfect match to support the company's new direction.
Chew said he is excited to join Gumpel and his pride of talented and highly motivated individuals at Lion & Lion. "I am fueled with the unanimity of the network's vision that quite simply sees the world as it is, a digitised marketplace. Fundamentally, the marketplace will see shorter consumer journeys and faster consumers buying decisions as the result of technology. Underpinning this role of digital as Lion & Lion sees it are still the fundamental drivers of creativity, consumer understanding and brand strategy. Essentially, I come in to pull these cardinal pieces together to ultimately deliver the creative marketing solution for brands," he added.
Meanwhile, Carlsen has been instrumental in the strong recovery of business during his time as MD of Malaysia, according to the press statement, following the challenges imposed during MCO. His business acumen combined with a deep understanding of marketing, consumer insights, and strategy makes him well-placed to drive the agency’s regional ambition, Lion & Lion said. In his new role, he will be spearheading the company's efforts in expanding the group’s portfolio with new business opportunities working closely with all local MDs. Furthermore, he will be responsible to further the agency’s integrated solutions across its three service lines.
Carlsen said that welcoming Chew onboard is both an honour and also a very exciting opportunity for collaboration for both of them. "With that in mind, I look forward to growing Malaysia’s business substantially with him in the coming year. Further being able to also focus on growing all five key markets and continue the current momentum to gain more regional accounts is key to taking our group to the next level of delivering fully integrated solutions across channels and markets," he added.
Gumpel also added that the team is thrilled to have Chew in the Lion & Lion family. "His impressive experience in leading business transformation within the agency space will augment Lion & Lion’s mission to advance its portfolio of integrated strategic & creative services. His passion for the industry, desire to create business results along with his entrepreneurial spirit convinced us early on that Chew would be a great fit for the role and our company," he said.
Meanwhile, Gumpel said that Carlsen will be "playing 100% of his strengths as a strong holistic marketing leader" in his new role, with an eye for commercial opportunities. "We are looking forward to seeing the new opportunities and growth these roles will bring to the agency and create impact for our clients and our business," he added.