Singapore – Global omnichannel media agency Assembly has announced the appointment of Jordan Heathfield as the agency’s vice president of connections and brand experience for the APAC region. In this newly established role, Heathfield will be instrumental in driving the integration of creative and strategic media solutions to deliver true brand performance for clients. 

His appointment reinforces Assembly’s commitment to delivering transformative results for brands such as Lenovo, Marina Bay Sands, and Nike. Heathfield is based in Singapore and will report to Assembly APAC CEO Richard Brosgill.

Heathfield brings over 16 years of industry experience to the agency, having excelled in strategic and client leadership roles across Asia prior to joining Assembly. He has a history of groundbreaking work, including the Volkswagen ‘Deep Fake’ campaign in China, and he served as global brand marketing lead at HP in California, where he spearheaded branding and growth initiatives for HP’s gaming division.

Speaking about his appointment, Heathfield said, “I am thrilled to join Assembly during such a transformative phase. The opportunity to shape and expand Assembly’s capabilities in brand strategy, creativity, and cutting-edge media planning, is incredibly exciting. My ambition is to pioneer the agency of the future where tech, innovation and creativity converge to deliver solutions that exceed client expectations and redefine industry standards.”

Meanwhile, Brosgill commented, “We are delighted to welcome Jordan into our leadership team. This newly formed role is testament to our commitment to deliver true brand performance, shaping connected consumer experiences that create real business impact. Jordan’s wealth of experience, unwavering passion, creativity, and innovation will undoubtedly propel our business and our clients forward. I’m excited for what’s to come.”

Singapore – Multinational tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has announced an expansion to Natalja Voronova’s role at the company, making her the new regional marketing director for ASEANZ, adding ANZ to her scope.

In an exclusive conversation with MARKETECH APAC, Voronova stated that her new role consolidated ASEAN and Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) into 1 cluster with a total scope of 8 markets, which is strategically important and well-positioned to capitalise on the broader growth opportunities for Goodyear in Asia.

“Australia is a very exciting addition, being one of the biggest markets in ASIA with developed carpark and strong Goodyear brand equity. It presents great opportunity for us to promote cross-country collaboration, best practice sharing and stronger marketing synergies within the cluster. I’ll be working closely with regional and ANZ country leaders to reinforce demand generation programs, identify new business growth opportunities and build stronger marketing capabilities within this extended scope,” she explained.

Key milestones and points for regional growth

Voronova first joined Goodyear as the regional marketing director for ASEAN and Korea in March this year, where she also highlighted significant progress against marketing growth strategy for this year.

“As a first step, key strategic priorities have been identified and aligned across the region. We have sharpened Goodyear brand positioning in ASEAN with stronger product offering and communication that has been successfully vetted with consumers and retailers. Big focus has also been on execution excellence,” she said.

She also added that their team has developed marketing guidelines with clear KPIs alongside content toolkits for local marketing organisations to drive measurement mentality and enable consistent high-quality execution. 

“Consumer centricity and strong collaboration with our business partners has been a key enabler for business growth,” she said.

When asked about her key objectives in her expanded role, she said, “Our focus will remain on driving key strategic product lines with end-to-end executional excellence, starting from product availability, visibility in point of sale, communication with a clear and superior proposition and driving consumer conversion. We will be working closely with our retail partners to ensure they have the right support in terms of product training, educational materials and after-sales service.”

Blending sustainability and customer-centricity

When asked about one of the prime marketing trends the manufacturing scene is at the forefront of, Voronova shares how sustainability will continue to impact the way they market their products.

“At Goodyear, we define sustainability as responsibly balancing environmental, societal, and financial demands without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It is an integral part of our business strategy, including multiple initiatives such as the launch of EcoReady tyres – made with sustainable materials, reduction of tire weight and rolling resistance which offers the double benefit for the environment as well as consumers with longer tyre lifespan,” she said.

She also noted the continued rise of electric vehicles in the region, where she said, “Whilst in ASEANZ this segment is still relatively small, it presents big growth opportunity. Goodyear was one of the first tire companies to recognise the structural differences between electric and regular ICE vehicles and their interaction with a road, introducing ElectricDrive product innovation, tailored specifically to electric vehicles. We are very excited about the future opportunities that electric vehicles will bring.”

Moreover, she also stated that consumer centricity with data-driven marketing initiatives will play a key role in accelerating business growth.

“Once we have identified full consumer journey with its touchpoints and needs, now we have an opportunity to provide a truly customised communication and service for each consumer with a help of AI – and do it in a cost and time-effective manner. I’m personally very excited about the opportunities that AI brings to drive business efficiencies, but also how it can help us to unleash creativity,” she said.

“Generative AI has already reached maturity when it comes to static images and is fast evolving in the video space. In Goodyear, where we obsess about our consumers and retailers, we’ll leverage new technologies to serve them even better at every touchpoint,” she concluded.

Singapore – AIA Singapore has announced the appointment of Afees Ashroff as its new chief technology officer with immediate effect, and he will report to Wong Sze Keed, chief executive officer at AIA Singapore

Ashroff is a highly experienced leader with a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years in both banking and insurance sectors. He has been with AIA Singapore since 2018 and has a profound understanding of the organisation, where he was most recently head of digital technology. 

With his new appointment, Afees will continue to focus on enhancing customers’ digital experiences by developing and implementing world-class, cutting-edge technology strategies aligned to deliver AIA Singapore’s vision and business priorities as a customer-centric leading life insurer.

Afees will succeed Peter Lee who has decided to step down to take some time to focus on personal matters.

Speaking about Ashroff’s appointment, Sze Keed said, “I am delighted to welcome Afees to the leadership team as chief technology officer. I am confident that Afees will be a strong addition to my management team and will continue to drive AIA Singapore’s digitalisation agenda across our organisation to deliver the best service experience for our customers. More importantly, with Afees’ appointment, AIA Singapore remains committed to our people-first culture; where talent development and internal mobility will ensure we give the best opportunities to our people.”

She added, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Peter and his efforts in steering the team. Peter is a highly respected industry veteran and will be fondly remembered for his positive influence in creating a cohesive culture within the technology division and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.”

Singapore – Adobe has announced the promotion of Keith Eadie as its new general manager for Asia Pacific (APAC), where he will oversee and drive the company’s business operations across the dynamic market.

Eadie joined the company almost seven years ago through the acquisition of TubeMogul, where he was the chief marketing and strategy officer. At Adobe, he has led several divisions, including Adobe Advertising, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Sign. 

In 2022, Eadie moved to Singapore to lead international product marketing for Adobe’s Digital Experience business. He most recently served as Adobe’s vice president of digital experience strategy and GTM for APAC and Japan. His expertise combines product and marketing innovation with strong business acumen and a passion for bringing people together to drive growth.

As the new APAC general manager, Eadie will report to Stephen Frieder, chief revenue officer of Adobe Enterprise.

Frieder said, “Keith Eadie is a transformational business leader with a track record of driving success across teams and value to our customers. Under Keith’s leadership, I’m excited to see the APAC region continue to build on its strong growth trajectory.” 

Also speaking on his promotion, Eadie shared, “As the digital economy continues to expand, and in the era of generative AI, business leaders across APAC are looking to deliver next-generation experiences for their customers. I’m excited for the opportunity to lead an exceptional team and to work with our customers and partners to empower them to drive experience-led growth.”

Manila, Philippines – Commercial banking company UnionBank has announced the appointment of Ana Aboitiz Delgado as its new president and CEO, effective on January 1, 2025.

Prior to assuming this role, Delgado is widely credited for leading UnionBank’s digital retail banking innovations such as the digital bank branch model and UnionBank Online.

She will be taking on leadership of UnionBank of the Philippines from Edwin Bautista, current president and CEO, whose 27-year career saw UnionBank go from becoming the front running digitised bank in the country to setting it on a path to become a retail bank leader.

Delgado joined UnionBank as a management trainee in November 2003. Over the course of her career, she led the business development of SME Banking and Retail Consumer Finance, which included credit cards and loans.

She was likewise tasked to lead the design of the customer experience across the Bank’s physical and digital touchpoints that will differentiate UnionBank from other traditional banks.

Delgado also expanded her role to head the bank’s Institutional Banking business on top of heading customer experience and digital channels and serving as a director of the UnionBank board and as chairman of the CitySavings Bank board.

Talking about the appointment, Erramon Aboitiz, chairman of the UnionBank Board of Directors, said, “We are looking forward to taking UnionBank to greater heights with Ana at the helm. Her experience and expertise will allow her to lead the Bank’s continued digital transformation which was started by Edwin and has put UnionBank on an accelerated road towards its aspiration to be a great retail bank.”

Singapore – Equativ, a global independent ad platform, has announced changes in its senior leadership team, with the appointment of Rueben Vijaratnam as its new managing director for SEA

Vijaratnam will join the Singapore office to develop a demand-focused strategy and guide Equativ to even greater success. With his strategic vision and leadership, the SEA team is expected to reach new heights, ensuring continued success and growth for the company in the region.

With significant experience in regional sales, Vijaratnam brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will be instrumental in driving growth and innovation.

His background includes six years at Yahoo, where he honed his skills in digital sales and marketing. He then spent two years at Oath, playing a key role in developing and executing strategic initiatives that significantly boosted demand and revenue. Most recently, Rueben spent 5 years at Quantcast, leading demand generation efforts and contributing to substantial market expansion and success.

Throughout his career, Vijaratnam has consistently demonstrated a remarkable ability to understand and respond to market needs, driving demand and fostering strong client relationships. His expertise in ‘demand leadership’ will be invaluable for Equativ as it aims to continuously innovate and expand its offerings.

Vijaratnam’s appointment marks a significant milestone for the APAC Business Unit, underscoring the company’s dedication to continuous improvement and growth. 

In his appointment, Vijaratnam commented, “I am excited to be joining Equativ at a very interesting point in our journey. The recent merger with Sharethrough springboards Equativ to a new level in the company’s global ambitions, and curation is becoming an ever more important solution to the challenges facing brands who are navigating the digital world today. We look forward to growing the Singapore office, expanding our footprint in Southeast Asia with existing and new partners, and truly delivering the promise of adtech in this region.”

Céline Gauthier-Darnis, EVP for MENA & APAC at Equativ, added, “I am confident that with Rueben as a leading figure, we will solidify our supply position as a key player in the region and accelerate and scale our ambitions with Demand by achieving success and exceeding expectations.”

Singapore – Global marketing and advertising agency dentsu has recently announced the appointments of Sanchit Mendiratta as chief growth officer, SEA and managing director of CXM at dentsu Singapore.

Concurrently, Trishe Goh has been promoted to senior director of Growth, Merkle.

Mendiratta and Goh’s appointments serve to bolster the expansion of its Customer Experience Management (“CXM”) capabilities across Southeast Asia.

Through its data-driven CXM agency, Merkle, dentsu’s Southeast Asia cluster will serve as a centre of excellence for analytics, customer data management, as well as customer experience and commerce for the network’s clients in the region.

Speaking on their appointments, Mendiratta and Goh jointly commented, “Our people-based marketing approach helps brands create a competitive advantage to thrive in the experience economy. We have local teams that keep a close pulse on the ground, and bring a strong understanding of the dynamics of each market in shaping transformative experiences that work for the right audiences.”

“But more importantly, our end-to-end integrated solutions seamlessly marries the best of creative, media, and CX to deliver winning strategies for our clients in an increasingly competitive consumer landscape. We look forward to helping more brands win in the era of Southeast Asia,” they added.

Commenting as well, Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, dentsu, Southeast Asia, said, “With our proven track record in delivering data-driven customer experience transformation and our hyper pulse on consumer behaviours on the ground, we are excited to reimagine the customer experience with brands who are ready for this journey. I am confident that Sanchit and Trishe will propel our growth in this segment across the cluster.”

Meanwhile, Chun Yin Mak, president, CXM, dentsu APAC, mentioned, “As incomes and consumption rise across Southeast Asia, consumer demographics will diversify as the competition for their time and attention intensifies. This is where we can help brands win with agility, technology, data, and experience. We have been at the forefront of driving innovation and transformation in customer experience around the world, and now, Sanchit and Trishe are well-placed to further grow our presence with our clients in Southeast Asia.”

SingaporeErika Cleo Foo, formerly the vice president of communications at Singlife, has recently been named the new vice president of communications and brand experience for Asia-Pacific at ING. In an exclusive conversation with MARKETECH APAC, Foo shared that she will report to Christine Kam, head of communications and brand experience for ING APAC.

“Working closely with regional and country teams to ensure consistent messaging and positioning throughout the Asia-Pacific region, as well as ensuring the alignment and effectiveness of communications initiatives, will be crucial aspects of my role,” she said.

When asked about her strategies in her new role, she stated that she aims to focus on executing effective communication strategies to position ING as a regional leader in sustainable finance.

“ING has a strong foundation in APAC, and I’m eager to leverage that to elevate our position as a leader in sustainable finance. This is a crucial area for the future of the financial services industry, and ING’s expertise aligns perfectly with the growing demand for environmentally and socially conscious solutions across the region,” she said.

Prior to joining ING, Foo was with Singlife for two years, where she managed the company’s strategic communications plans in alignment with business objectives and brand identity.

She previously spent over five years with the National Heritage Board, handling various roles related to marketing communications and programming efforts.

“My experiences at Singlife and the National Heritage Board have taught me the importance of balancing innovation with tradition. From Singlife, I bring a strong understanding of digital-first strategies and the importance of integrating technology into customer experiences,” she said.

Foo added, “At the National Heritage Board, I learned the value of storytelling and creating emotionally engaging brand experiences. I believe these learnings have helped me create compelling and innovative brand experiences, leveraging both technology and storytelling to connect with audiences.”

When asked about specific brand experience challenges the banking and insurance industries face, she highlighted navigating the increasing regulatory landscape while maintaining a seamless customer experience, as well as ensuring data privacy and security in an era of digital transformation.

“On the opportunity side, the rapid adoption of digital technologies provides a chance to enhance customer engagement through personalized and convenient services. Additionally, there is a growing opportunity to build trust and loyalty by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, which are increasingly important to customers,” she said.

Discussing the opportunities the industry may see this year, she stated, “Customers today expect a seamless and personalized experience across all channels. This presents a challenge, but also an opportunity for differentiation through innovative and customer-centric brand experiences. Institutions that leverage advanced analytics to gain deeper insights into customer behaviour will benefit from more strategic decision-making, resulting in meaningful and tailored solutions for their end-users.”

Foo also added, “Building trust and brand loyalty will be crucial in the competitive APAC market. Transparency, ethical practices, and a focus on customer well-being will be key differentiators. Institutions that embrace a purpose-driven approach that aligns with the values of their audiences, such as sustainability and ethical practices, will find themselves a step ahead in building long-term brand loyalty.”

Singapore – Now Comms Asia has announced the appointment of Joe Sen as its new group managing director. In this role, he will spearhead regional operations across Asia Pacific and Japan – with a particular focus on Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia, to drive growth and strategic excellence.

Sen has a robust background in crafting and executing successful marketing strategies for the world’s top brands. His curiosity, passion for people and love for storytelling have driven his numerous successes, positioning him perfectly to hoist Now Comms Asia’s strategic capabilities. 

As group managing director, he will focus on elevating Now Comms Asia’s ability to bring even more quality to an exceptional track record on its operations and relationships; further improving the calibre that Now Comms Asia has in service delivery.

His role will also encompass an enhancement of service delivery quality to help foster stronger client relationships, and on casting out a comprehensive intergroup strategy that will ensure the consistent delivery of top-notch marketing services – ensuring a seamless integration across all subsidiaries. 

Speaking on his new role, Sen said, “Now Comms Asia has a strong foundation of delivering exceptional brand experiences that drive business results. Our clients continue to seek our agility and expertise in connecting with their customers across an increasingly complex landscape. I am excited to be joining the team at a time of great change, bringing a strategic lens to the next stage of our growth.”

Meanwhile, Andrew McArthur-Edwards, group CEO of Now Comms Asia, said, “Anyone who knows Joe recognises his unique approach to driving growth – a #kindadifferent marketing leader. As a commercially minded strategist he is the perfect person to lead the company on its next level of expansion in the region. I’m excited to give this opportunity to such a brilliant mind and incredibly happy that he has accepted the position, stepping up from the strategy roles he proved himself in to take the helm and steer our business.”

Singapore – Iris, a global creative network, has appointed Shea Warnes as the new chief strategy officer of Iris Singapore. In the new role he will report to Rebecca Nadilo, managing director of Iris Singapore, responsible for leading integrated strategy and further propelling Iris’ social and content product, Iris Inc–which stands for Igniting New Creators.

Warnes joins from Dentsu Creative, where he was head of strategy based in Singapore, working across key clients that included Activision Blizzard, Amex, Toyota, Manulife and the Singapore government. 

He has worked in New York, London, Australia and Singapore, and brings unique experience that bridges tech, social and brand from over 15 years in senior roles at companies such as Meta, BBH London and Havas, as well as launching Media.Monks for ANZ in 2020.

Speaking on his new role, Warnes said, “What I’ve found in Iris is an agency committed to the simple and powerful idea of building brands people want to talk about. I’m in awe of the talent, skillsets and agility here to get to different shaped ideas that work, which is critical when so much of what our industry pumps out is wallpaper and noise.”

He added, “I’m looking forward to working with Becs and the teams here to refine the inputs and outputs to get to culturally-fit creative. That requires a new creative OS that better marries fame with performance, and I’m excited to partner with our clients to deliver growth and value.”

Meanwhile, Nadilo commented, “When there’s a cost of media crisis going on, and 4 out of 5 people are more influenced by people than ads, we need someone who thinks about the conversations we want people to be having and then marry audacious creative ideas with social, content and creators, and Shea does exactly that.”

She added, “I’m beyond excited to welcome Shea to the Iris Singapore team. Not only does he have great creative instinct and a way to reduce problems into one line, or deliver simple truth bombs, but he is also a great human who will lead with empathy, collaborate brilliantly and continue to shape Iris Singapore into a place where people do and feel their best.”