BBDO Appoints CEO of Asian Operations

NEW YORK Omnicom Group’s BBDO said it has appointed Chris Thomas chairman and CEO of BBDO Asia, effective immediately.

Thomas, 43, had been CEO of the agency’s relationship marketing unit Proximity in London. He will relocate to Singapore for his new role and reports to BBDO worldwide CEO Andrew Robertson and chairman, CEO of Omnicom Asia Michael Birkin.

As CEO of BBDO Asia, Thomas will also have oversight of Proximity in that region. He succeeds Raymond So, who has left the agency.

In a statement, Robertson said, “We’re leveraging our talents across communication forms, cultures and borders, and creating real opportunities for our people to take on new challenges and responsibilities.” He praised Thomas’ two-year leadership of Proximity, calling him “a ferocious competitor” and “a great people developer and team buider.”

The agency said Proximity under Thomas added clients such as Hewlett-Packard and Shell Oil. Last month, Proximity was awarded Procter & Gamble’s relationship marketing business in 13 European countries [Adweek, Oct. 31].

AMV BBDO chairman Cilla Snowball will add Thomas’ Proximity London duties, and Amanda Phillips will be promoted from director of client services to managing director of Proximity in London.

Thomas said in a statement that beyond the potential growth of business in Asia, it’s also a place where agencies such as Proximity can experiment with marketing.

Proximity’s clients include Masterfoods, Pepsi and Shell.