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TBWA promotes Philip Brett to global role as Ian Pearman assumes top APAC gig


By Benjamin Cher, Reporter

June 15, 2017 | 4 min read

TBWA\Worldwide have promoted Philip Brett from president, TBWA\Asia to chief operating officer, TBWA\Worldwide.

ian pearman philip brett

Left to right: Ian Pearman and Philip Brett

He will be replaced by Ian Pearman, chief executive officer, AMVBBDO, who will take over Brett’s role as president, TBWA\Asia.

These appointments are the latest senior management changes for TBWA and follow the appointment of Chris Garbutt as chief creative officer last month.

Brett will remain in Singapore until autumn to facilitate a smooth transition before returning to London, while Pearman will take over the role based in Singapore from 1 August 2017.

Pearman will oversee all countries in Asia and will advance the agency’s position across the region. Paul Bradbury will continue to lead the Oceania region.

Pearman has over 20 years experience, starting out as a graduate trainee in AMVBBDO and has spent the last seven years as CEO of the agency.

“Phil and Ian share an innovation and product mindset, the ability to build bridges, and a thirst to drive ideas into action,” said Troy Ruhanen, president and chief executive officer, TBWA\Worldwide.

“We are beyond lucky to have two of Omnicom’s best as part of The Disruption Company and I am thrilled to see them both step in to new growth roles,” he added.

Andrew Robertson, president and chief executive officer, BBDO Worldwide, said, “I watched Ian grow through the ranks, and saw him, as CEO, drive the digital transformation of our offer, an aggressive innovation agenda, and the introduction of new services for our clients. I’m pleased for Ian and for Omnicom. It’s a textbook case of how to manage and develop talent."

Pearman said, “It has been an incredible privilege to be part of AMVBBDO for 21 years and to have been able to carry the flame. The opportunity to move up within Omnicom like this is fantastic. Andrew and Troy are the two people in this business I most admire, and to be able to work for both of them in the space of one career makes me one lucky man. The optimism, ambition and rich variety of the Asia region makes it a brilliant canvas for TBWA’s unrelenting focus on creativity and innovation, and I look forward to partnering with Phil to turbocharge that entrepreneurial spirit to the benefit of TBWA’s clients and people."

Brett’s primary responsibility as COO will be operationalising the company’s products and platform initiatives globally and implement best practices and innovation. He will also be expanding the work he has driven in Asia to scale across the company globally.

“It has been a pure privilege to spend the last two decades building TBWA\Asia into one of the most dynamic agency groups in Asia. I’ve worked with many of the world’s best brands, and the most talented, creative and innovative people I have grown to love and respect. It’s now time for the next opportunity and I am thrilled to return to London and to work closely with Troy to help write the next chapter of TBWA. I can do so with a clear conscience that Ian will be at the helm. His expertise in running London’s largest agency over the last seven years will add enormous value, further advancing the collective’s position and strengthening its offering,” said Brett.

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