DDB has appointed Jeff Cheong as CEO of its Singapore office, effective January 1, 2022. As part of the succession plan, Cheong will take over as CEO of the Singapore office from David Tang, CEO of DDB Asia who will also take over as Chairman of the Agency Group.
Over the past 15 years, Cheong has worked alongside Tang and Vice Chairman Neil Johnson for DDB Development at Singapore’s Leading Agencies Group. Cheong joined DDB in 2008 as Managing Director and Executive Creative Director for Tribal Worldwide Singapore. Under his creative leadership, he has shaped Tribal into an award-winning digital agency.
Cheong has also developed DDB’s Total Experience (TX) approach to providing service design, technology consulting, and business transformation to clients such as Changi Airport, JTC, Exxon and Manulife. In 2018, Cheung was appointed Executive Vice President of DDB Group in Singapore to lead the growth of the agency. Over the past few years, he has led the group of agencies to win Marketing Magazine’s Global Creative Ideas MARKies for four consecutive years from 2018 to 2021.
With over 25 years of experience, Cheong has worked with some of the largest brands in the region including Unilever, Nokia, Heineken, Exxon, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Citibank, Japan National Tourism Organization, Singapore Airlines and Uniqlo. At DDB, he led numerous work for government agencies, including the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Cheong is known for his ability to quickly bring new ideas to market and drive new brands. His recent Covid-19 vaccination campaign involving Phua Chu Kang for the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) made international headlines in The Guardian, CNN and other leading media outlets.
in conversation with interactive marketingWhen asked about his new role and ambitions as CEO of DDB Singapore, Cheong said, “This was never an overnight role, but something I had been building over the past six to eight years to prepare ourselves to be an agile organisation. The pandemic has been a test of our system. And we’ve produced quite a bit of chart-topping work.”
2022 is the year of rebuilding and I think there will be a lot of sectors that will emerge as strong players to gain new market share. We want to be part of the growth.
He added that DDB Singapore’s focus has always been on customer business and that will always be the core of what the agency does. “Tang and Johnson have created a very strong foundation for me to lead the next generation of leaders to be more adventurous in the solutions we provide to our customers,” he said.
Cheong said the agency will now move away from tried-and-tested formats and turn views into interaction. “We have produced our first feature-length documentary and are working on a multi-verse platform series. Above all, we will continue to invest in our people. As an advocate for continuing education, a new tailor-made training module with leading universities and art institutes will develop the skills of our staff to deal with the rapidly changing demands of the our industry.”
“DDB has given me all the chances and now it has given me the mantle of leadership,” Cheong said. “We have an amazing team and talent at DDB with the momentum we have built over the past 20 years. I am honored and delighted to lead our next generation to meet the challenges of the future.”
Tang added, “We have to give a wonder of talent like Cheong – a creative maverick, digital revolutionary, and energetic man – wings to fly. A fast and agile world, multi-channel, social frenzy calls for a new kind of creative leadership, and we support Cheong to get us where we haven’t been.” No agency is trending by.”
“We have an amazing leadership team in Asia, especially Singapore,” said Marty O’Loran, CEO of DDB Worldwide. “Unlimited Works – our new global status – is focused on delivering exceptional marketing to clients, led by some of the best business practitioners like Tang, Jeff Cheong, Eugene Cheong and Johnson at the helm.”
Last year, Eugene Cheung, former chief creative officer of Ogilvy APAC, joined DDB Asia as Chief Creative Officer. He will work alongside David Tang, CEO of Asia, to support its offices in China, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore in the local and global brands that are growing across Asia.
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