Michael Houston, Worldwide CEO of Grey Group, announced that Adam O'Conor, one of China's most accomplished advertising industry leaders, is joining the agency as Chairman and CEO of GreyGroup Greater China.
O'Conor has served most recently as President, Ogilvy & Mather Group, Asia Pacific, Hong Kong, overseeing global brand management in the region, capping a stellar two-decade long career at the agency.
Adam O'Conor has been called a champion of creative ideas with a hands-on approach to nurturing world-class talent and delivering business solutions. Starting as a graduate trainee at Ogilvy London in the mid-90's, he went on to serve as a Group Account Director and moved to Ogilvy Sydney in 2001 as Regional Business Director for IBM. O'Conor came to Ogilvy Hong Kong, the network's regional headquarters, in 2006, was promoted to Managing Director a year later and Group CEO in 2010. Since 2016, he has led Ogilvy's Global Brand Management Team serving a Who's Who of more than 20 multinational brands in the region, representing a significant volume of revenue.
Grey Group Greater China, with 500 employees, encompasses operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Taipei, Taiwan.
Xero Limited, a global online accounting software provider, announced the presence of a permanent Hong Kong team, bolstering its presence in Asia in addition to its Singapore office and continuing the company’s strong focus on growth.
Following two monumental partnerships with HSBC and DBS in 2017, Xero is one of the first companies to centralize financial data with Hong Kong banks through an API integration. The platform connects small businesses directly with their financial data through direct bank feeds, where small businesses get better real-time visibility of their financial situation, enabling them to make informed financial decisions and effectively manage cashflow. Xero seamlessly integrates with more than 600 apps.
With Hong Kong home to about 330,000 SMEs, Xero sees an abundance of opportunity arising from increased government funded initiatives to nurture the small business economy and the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area development. With more than 1.2 million global subscribers and growing, the Xero Hong Kong team seems to be at the perfect place at the right time, committed to play a part in pushing forward technological adoption in local traditional industries.
Meltwater announced its acquisition of DataSift, a privacy-by-design data and analytics platform that extracts real-time insights from social and online data sources, while protecting user privacy. This acquisition, Meltwater’s sixth in the last year, solidifies the company’s emergence as a leading provider of AI-powered competitive intelligence through its Outside Insight platform.
Meltwater and DataSift have the partnerships, data and AI, to serve the growing competitive intelligence market with advanced analytics. DataSift’s CEO Tim Barker and CTO Lorenzo Alberton, among others, have joined the Meltwater team and will add increased leadership bench strength to the development of the Outside Insight platform.
Founded in 2010, DataSift has more than 15 data partners, such as WordPress, Facebook and LinkedIn, and built an ecosystem that allows developers to derive insights and application developers to include these insights in software offerings. DataSift’s patent-pending technology applies anonymization, aggregation and redaction to provide insights while protecting users’ identities. Now, their clients will have access to Meltwater’s data platform, sophisticated AI models to extract insights, and gain an experienced partner with local expertise in more than 55 markets on six continents.
Adobe has appointed Alvaro Del Pozo to lead the company’s marketing strategy in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
As Vice President, Marketing, Del Pozo will report to Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes and work alongside APAC President, Paul Robson, to drive business growth in APAC.
Del Pozo takes over from Marta DeBellis who has returned to the United States to head up enterprise campaign and partner marketing worldwide, following a two-year secondment to APAC.
Based in Sydney, Del Pozo brings extensive marketing experience to Adobe. Prior to joining the company, Del Pozo was the COO and served on the board of OneAffiniti Australia, a digital marketing agency that connects brands with IT influencers. Del Pozo joined OneAffiniti from Dell, where he was responsible for brand and demand across consumer, small businesses, enterprise and the public sector as Vice President of APAC and Japan Marketing. In his 17 years at Dell, Del Pozo led several important initiatives, including launching consumer products in China and India, as well as spearheading the company’s digital transformation in region.
Smartly.io, a leading Facebook advertising automation platform, announced it has grown globally more than 100% year-over-year, driven by rapid expansion of its customer base, including a global contract with Uber.
The ride-sharing app, along with ecommerce platform Shopee, game publishers Ubisoft and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., travel booking platforms Skyscanner and Traveloka, online food service Deliveroo, and Chinese Facebook direct reseller MeetSocial, join a roster of over 600 brands and agencies that rely on Smartly.io to run their Facebook and Instagram advertising at scale.
To bolster a growing footprint, the company has welcomed more than 85 team members -- a 94% increase from 2016 to 2017. Smartly.io named Jose Kantola as their General Manager for APAC, who moved to Singapore to open Smartly.io's first APAC office in 2016. Since then, he's grown the revenue 5-fold and hired locally to build the team, serving customers in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Greater China region in 6 languages. With growth projected to only increase further, Smartly.io intends to add more members to the APAC team over the next 12 months with openings such as Head of Greater China, Regional Sales Lead and Customer Success Managers for markets across the region.
Among the new hires on a global level, Andrew French has been appointed General Manager of Smartly.io EMEA, bringing ten years' adtech industry expertise from previous roles at Somo, Ad.IQ and, most recently, AdColony, where he was the company's first hire outside of the U.S. and ran their EMEA business.
Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has further grown its cross-border business in Southeast Asia, adding four new countries to its network. This takes the total number of countries where Alipay services are available to Chinese visitors and local merchants in this region to eight. With the expansion, merchants in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and the Philippines are now also connected to 520 million active users in China via Alipay’s in-app marketing platform, the same way as merchants in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam already have been.
Beyond an improved payment experience, Alipay’s in-app “Discover” function also allows merchants to market to Chinese visitors before, during and after their trips, boosting brand exposure of merchants amongst China’s rapidly growing overseas visitors. To date, Alipay is working with more than 250 financial institutions and payment solution partners in its ecosystem to enable cross-border payments for Chinese traveling globally.
Neural Technologies, a provider of revenue management and digital integration solutions, has been presented with a Certificate of Recognition at the Globe Telecom’s Annual Information Systems Group Awards, which it received for its exceptional Open API support for the Vibrant IoT Ecosystem (OAsIS) TM Forum LIVE! Asia Catalyst Project.
As part of the project, Neural Technologies created and led the detailed mapping of all the Forum Open APIs across the IoT management spectrum, identified any gaps, and worked on how to close them. Currently, the company is working with TM Forum to develop the Open API Lab, which is based upon a microservices oriented architecture to support the digital transformation strategies of all TM Forum members.
The Board of Xero Limited announced the appointement of Steve Vamos as CEO to succeed founder Rod Drury, effective 1 April 2018. Rod will continue to focus on innovation and strategy as a non-executive director of Xero.
Over the past 18 months, Steve has worked closely with Xero’s executive team developing its management capability and operating model. Steve has more than 30 years’ experience in technology and digital media, including roles at three iconic companies: IBM, Apple and Microsoft. He has lived and worked in Australia, the USA and Asia, and is a proven leader with the skills and discipline to drive Xero in its next phase of global growth.
Steve’s focus in all his management roles has been to build great teams and a business culture that supports growth and high performance. In advocating for the importance of building and aligning great talent, Steve founded the Society for Knowledge Economics (SKE), a not for profit think tank that operated from 2005 – 2014, to encourage and promote new and better leadership and management practices that enable innovation, productivity and sustainability.
Steve currently serves as a non-executive Director of Telstra (appointed September 2009) and Fletcher Building (appointed July 2015), and is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Technology Sydney Business School.
Steve has a degree in Civil Engineering (with Honors) from the University of New South Wales.
Tangrams Effectiveness@Spike (27 & 28 September 2018) is on the lookout for the most effective marketing strategies in the Asia Pacific region, across a broad range of entry categories for 2018.
Tangrams Effectiveness honors the best work and teams with Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies, as well as celebrating individual campaigns. An “Agency of the Year” award will also be presented to the highest scoring agency in each section and “Tangrams Effectiveness Network of the Year” to the highest scoring agency network.
Daesik Kim, the founder and former CEO of Bithumb—the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange—is returning to the payments industry as the Chief Cryptocurrency Officer of Bezant, a payment protocol and cryptocurrency for the digital entertainment and e-commerce sectors.
Kim will drive business, product, strategy, and partnerships at Bezant.
Bezant is a decentralized payment protocol and application, set to become a leader in borderless payments globally. It utilizes a private blockchain network which enables fluid payments and makes microtransactions secure, reliable, transparent, and cost-efficient. This protocol avoids the common problems associated with cryptocurrencies leading to higher fees and slower transaction speeds. The company has already raised US$6.28 million in its private token sale and is targeting a total ICO of US$40 million. Bezant has also attracted high-profile advisors and global business development leaders who bring their expertise from the cryptocurrency, payments, digital content, and finance industries to the company.
AppsFlyer announced the appointment of Antony Wilcox as Director of Agency Alliances, Asia Pacific – its first strategic hire dedicated to agencies in Asia-Pacific (APAC).
In his new role, Antony will be leading AppsFlyer efforts in building out the Agency alliances vertical across APAC. The new agencies initiatives will be focussed on Media agencies and assisting them in moving their clients on to best practice mobile analytics configurations, & fraud prevention technologies.
Prior to joining AppsFlyer, Antony served as Regional Director Asia at Datalicious, a leader in web attribution and analytics, and led the setup and expansion of the company in South East Asia, India and South Korea.
Mpire announces the opening of its first Asia Pacific office, which will be led by James Dutton who has been recently appointed, Managing Director, APAC.
Mpire is a global ad tech innovator, helping the world's biggest apps acquire new users on a cost-per-install (CPI) and cost-per-event (CPE) basis.
From their new hub in Singapore, Mpire will continue to deliver premium mobile app user acquisition for its growing regional client base.
With its proprietary mediation platform, nxus, that uses big data, machine learning, and automation to deliver high-quality mobile users and superior return on ad spend and the launch of TrafficGuard®, Mpire was one of the first mobile advertising partners to provide ad fraud mitigation to protect their clients' advertising budgets. Through the deployment of these innovations, Mpire has facilitated over 26 million mobile app installs for leading brands across mobile gaming, utilities and ecommerce primarily in North America and is ready to grow its presence across Asia Pacific.
The company’s APAC expansion comes shortly after a global brand refresh that echos the Mpire’s evolution beyond the category of ad network. Formerly known as Mpire Network, the rebranding also introduced a renewed visual brand identity and new website.
WPP has merged Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe into a new agency, creating in a single stroke one of the industry’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies.
The new agency will be led by Chief Executive Officer Donna Imperato, currently CEO of Cohn & Wolfe. Don Baer, Burson-Marsteller’s Worldwide Chair and CEO, will become Chairman.
To secure seamless post-merger integration, Imperato has formed an executive group comprising select senior leaders from both agencies. The executive group will focus on the best ways to bring the agencies together ensuring continuity and excellence in client service.
The Japanese adtech leader, FreakOut Holdings, announced the appointment of Narayan Murthy Ivaturi as VP South East Asia and India.
Based in Singapore, he will spearhead business operations in South East Asia & India and is responsible for liaising with group companies for strategic partnerships, product integration and development.
With over 15 years of experience in leading businesses across verticals such as Advertising, Media Planning, Media Sales, Business Development, Mobile, Ecommerce, etc., Narayan will bring in his diverse expertise to FreakOut Holdings, inc with the objective of sustaining quality services in the long run.
Prior to this role, Narayan was with WPP - Mindshare as Head of Mobile APAC based in Singapore where he was the Business Head of the Mobile and New Technology mandate. He also served as Head of Global Revenue at Vserv, a Global Mobile Marketing Platform based in Mumbai. He was also a part of leading global digital service providers and held different revenue roles.
FreakOut Global aims to be known as a Mobile Native Advertising Company in both South East Asia and India, with a special focus in the region as both SEA and India play a strategic role to the growth ambitions of the company. Narayan is expected to drive the overall programmatic mandate in order to expand the business horizons with new products and geos.
Appier announced that Aixon, its AI-based data intelligence platform, now connects directly with Google's advertising platforms, including DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick for Publishers, and DoubleClick Campaign Manager. This connectivity enables Appier's enterprise customers to seamlessly run their campaigns directly from Aixon.
Aixon offers companies the ability to unify data across different formats and combine it with data from Appier's CrossX AI database, which comprises rich anonymized ownership and usage information across billions of devices in Asia and helps marketers analyze this data using AI to predict customer behavior. It also allows them to export and integrate customer insights with their own customer relationship management (CRM) systems, or to take action on Aixon's predictions using programmatic advertising platforms such as Appier's CrossX Programmatic Platform.
CenturyLink, Inc. announced the appointment of Matt Gutierrez as its senior managing director for Asia Pacific (APAC), responsible for leading the company’s business throughout the entire region.
Gutierrez, who will oversee sales, marketing and operations functions, will help enterprises, government and wholesale customers achieve their digital transformation initiatives by using the CenturyLink's innovative network solutions and managed services.
Prior to joining CenturyLink, Gutierrez spent more than 17 years at Level 3 Communications, serving as interim regional president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as senior vice president and finance director of EMEA. Before that, he served in three other senior vice president positions in finance and operations.
Global audience solutions company CtrlShift announced the appointment of Dominic Powers as Chief Executive Officer.
He takes over the role from Deepika Nikhilender, who has stepped down to pursue new opportunities.
Having previously served as Advisor to the Board and Chief Business Officer at CtrlShift, Powers will be tasked with leading the organization’s growth strategy and positioning as a leading global ad-tech solutions provider. Based in Singapore, he will report to the Board of Directors, which includes Co-Founders Reza Behnam, Pete Yoong and Rene Menezes.
With more than 20 years of global marketing and technology experience, Powers spent the last decade growing Europe and Asia Pacific for Epsilon, one of the world’s leading marketing services companies, as its Executive Vice President & Managing Director, International. During this time Epsilon grew from US$250 million to US$2.8 billion in global revenue. Prior to that he led Asia Pacific for DoubleClick, a pioneer in ad tech. He started his career in digital designing and leading the development teams for marketing automation platforms for Chinadotcom Corporation, the first Asian internet play to list on NASDAQ.
Having spent almost 25 years in the region, he is an active investor, advisor, and connector, helping brands, agencies and technology companies navigate and disrupt the world of consumer engagement.
Qualtrics announced it is growing its Asia Pacific presence with the opening of a Japan office, based in Tokyo.
The establishment of the Japan office will allow Qualtrics to address the important Japanese market and provide high quality, local service to its Japanese clients.
Leading Qualtrics in the Japan region is Satoru Kumashiro, who brings 19 years of experience in the technology industry. As head of Qualtrics Japan, Kumashiro, based in Tokyo, will establish an initial team of eleven employees in 2018. He will focus on scaling the Qualtrics organization in Japan to include client success, implementation, support, marketing, and technical functions to support the rapidly expanding customer base.
Qualtrics plans to provide a full range of experience management services and aims to build the local team to more than fifty employees in support of the customer base, which is expected to grow to more than three-hundred customers within the next three years.
CNBC announced plans to strengthen its Hong Kong operations with a number of senior moves and hires within its editorial division.
Anchor Akiko Fujita moves from the networks’ Asia Headquarters in Singapore to join veteran Bernie Lo to host CNBC’s flagship morning show, Squawk Box. Squawk Box sets the news agenda in the region every day, bringing viewers news and views from the top CEOs, asset managers and newsmakers as Asian markets open for trade. With more than a decade of experience, Akiko has covered some of the biggest stories across Asia and the U.S. Prior to joining CNBC, Akiko was a Tokyo-based correspondent for ABC News.
In addition, Uptin Saiidi will move from Singapore to CNBC’s Hong Kong news room. As a Multimedia Journalist, Uptin fronts many of the network's digital video series available across CNBC’s digital and social platforms. Uptin will be responsible for telling the Hong Kong business story to CNBC’s rapidly growing aspirational audience on digital and social.
The network also announced the appointment of Kelly Gerard Olsen as Market Correspondent. Kelly will join the Hong Kong office as the newest member of CNBC’s digital team and report directly to Asia Pacific Editor, Everett Rosenfeld. Prior to joining CNBC, Kelly was the news editor and deputy bureau chief of Agence France-Presse in Tokyo.
Earlier in February, Yolande Chee, CNBC’s senior booker and producer, joined the Hong Kong news desk from the network’s Sydney bureau. Yolande has been a journalist at CNBC for over ten years and in that time has led the network’s Australia coverage. She has an impeccable track record for breaking news and delivering compelling content.