MullenLowe Group APAC operations will be jointly led by Paul Soon (pictured left), CEO, MullenLowe Singapore and China and James Hollow (pictured right), CEO, MullenLowe Japan and Hong Kong. The new leadership team will come into force on 30 June 2020, following the retirement of current group CEO Vincent Digonnet.
The new leadership structure and ways of working aim to reflect MullenLowe Group’s vision to create a more agile network built around individual and team skillsets and experience rather than geographical presence. According to Mullenlowe, key to that vision has been transforming the group’s internal organisation into a client programs-centric hyper-bundled model with creativity, purpose-led strategic communications and data science and analytics at the core.
Soon joined the agency in 2018 shortly after Mullenlowe Group integrated operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to create MullenLowe Group Southeast Asia. Prior to the appointment, Soon was the APAC CEO at POSSIBLE, and brings a total of 20 years of leadership experience, pioneering integrated marketing in Singapore by setting up ADinc.com (Advertising and Digital) in 2000, which was subsequently bought out by AKQA. He then joined XM Asia where he held leadership positions for nine years, becoming APAC CEO in 2011 where he helped grow a single market agency into one that is now present in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Hong Kong as Mirum.
Meanwhile, Hollow has been with the Mullenlowe Group since 2013. He was the president of Mullenlowe Profero in Japan, and was handed an additional remit to oversee the Hong Kong region in 2017. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Japanese communications agency Alien-Eye, which then merged with digital agency Profero. Hollow has also previously worked with WPP and Ogilvy.
Both Soon and Hollow will report to Alex Leikikh, global CEO, MullenLowe Group. According to Leikikh, in APAC, there has been a focus on the agency's hyper bundled model to transform the network and grow collaboration and knowledge sharing within the group. "As we continue to develop our centres of excellence and drive specialised skillsets for each market, particularly at a time when creativity and purpose are more important than ever, I have no doubt Soon and Hollow will successfully lead the agency to success and help brands on their own business transformation journey,” he added.
"2020 has always been a hard stop for me ever since I joined MullenLowe and key to the transformation of the region I have led in the past three years, has been the hiring and the nurturing of a management team to succeed me. I know I leave the region in extremely good hands with Soon and Hollow,” Digonnet said.
Recently in April, MullenLowe Singapore appointed Abhishek Goyal as its head of digital, a newly-created role with a remit to continue to develop and grow the agency’s digital offerings, particularly their digital acceleration services. In his new role, Goyal will drive innovative solutions for clients looking to implement their digital processes and strategies to help transform their business. Goyal reports to Soon, and will work across the agency’s full spectrum of clients.
Meanwhile, MullenLowe Singapore has also been appointed by The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as its creative agency. The appointment is for a period of three years and came after a pitch. The incumbent on the account was J. Walter Thompson (JWT) Singapore, which was appointed in 2017. Mullenlowe Singapore is tasked with a remit to develop and implement a recruitment publicity strategy for RSN's Recruitment Centre. In addition, the agency will also develop a fully integrated recruitment campaign that includes ATL, BTL, digital/social and event collaterals.