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Essence promotes APAC chief Kyoko Matsushita to global CEO


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

August 8, 2019 | 3 min read

Kyoko Matsushita has been named the new global chief executive for Essence, replacing Christian Juhl who was recently given the top job at GroupM.


Kyoko Matsushita, Essence chief executive

Matsushita most recently served as Essence’s global chief client officer and chief executive for Essence in APAC. She joined the media agency in 2014 and oversaw its expansion into Bengaluru, Delhi, Jakarta, Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

She will be based out of San Francisco and continue to report to Christian Juhl, who officially moves into the group role on 1 October.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this truly exceptional agency at a time when data and technology give us so much potential to unlock value for our clients,” said Matsushita.

“Essence was founded to lead the industry in creating trustworthy, relevant, and valuable advertising. I couldn't be more excited to see what we can accomplish when we combine this mission with our clients’ ambition and the power of data science and big ideas.”

Juhl praised Matsushita's “deep relationships” with clients, which include L’Oreal, Google and NBC Universal, as well as her “knowledge of our culture, and her vision for the future.”

“I am looking forward to working closely with her in my new role at GroupM,” he said.

The Drum revealed that Juhl would take on the top job at GroupM earlier this year following the departure of Kelly Clark.

In a recent interview with The Drum, Juhl outlined his vision for the WPP agency and where Essence would fit in his plans.

“The backbone of Essence is really a mindset around experimentation and test-and-learn to understand where we can find significant lift gains for our clients, whether that's on the performance-side or brand-side,” he said.

He explained that while GroupM’s agencies will continue to provide different offerings for different clients, he noted that the media network understands there’s a need to modernize.

“GroupM realizes that the media marketplace is changing and the background in data and technology is helpful in an era where we're trying to move into more addressability."

You can read the full interview here.

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