PHD has appointed James Hawkins as CEO of its operations in Asia Pacific (APAC). Hawkins joins the network from Dentsu X, where he was Managing Director – APAC and brings over 15 years of experience in advancing digital practices and driving digital transformation at creative and media agencies, including 10 years in APAC. He will now be tasked with taking the agency’s future-facing offering to the next level.
Having established its APAC operations in 2007, the PHD network has climbed from strength to strength across the region and the world. The Gunn Media 100 listed PHD Shanghai as the fourth most-awarded media agency in the world in its 2018 ranking, and the network holds 14 ‘Agency of the Year’ titles for 2017 from various awards shows across the region. The recent appointment of HSBC’s global media duties is a reflection of the network’s clout and standing in the region today and its unparalleled strength in local-market leadership.
In his new role, Hawkins will have a dual reporting line into Tony Harradine, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific, and Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide. He will now work closely with both, as well as agency leads in 16 APAC markets, leveraging his extensive digital experience and industry knowledge to elevate the network’s offering in line with ongoing media transformation and technological advancement.
Speaking on the appointment, Harradine commented: “Over the years, PHD has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in APAC and shows no signs of slowing down, bringing home the global HSBC account just last month. Given the unique growth opportunities presented to us, we have taken our time to identify the best candidate to take the helm in APAC, one who can harness its energy and continue building an agency of the future. As such, we are thrilled to have James join the team and play an instrumental role in continuing PHD’s incredible success story in the region.”
Cooper added: “APAC represents a very strategic market for us, one that is now starting to set the pace and agenda for global clients and agencies alike. Some of our strongest and most applauded work in 2017 came out of markets like China, India, Australia and New Zealand. With James’ impressive track record of growing agencies in the region and progressing the digital credentials of several prominent brands, we are confident that the network will continue to soar to new heights in APAC.”
“PHD has certainly commanded the industry’s attention over the past few years, surpassing larger competitor networks with its new business and awards performance,” added Hawkins. “However, its strong people-focused culture and impressive talent pool are what have impressed me the most about the network. I am excited to be joining such a dynamic and inspirational team, and look forward to working with them on continuing PHD’s powerful growth journey in Asia Pacific.”
The appointment is effective October 2018.