Young & Rubicam has named industry veteran Matthew Godfrey president of its operations in Asia. He will be based in Singapore.
He succeeds Ambar Brahmachary who, after three years in the role, “is now exploring newer challenges within WPP,” the agency said in a statement.
For the past four years Godfrey (pictured) has led Publicis Asia as CEO and COO, earning kudos for building a strong, creatively focused network with a potent digital component. He has worked in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 20 years, beginning at George Patterson Bates in Sydney, Australia.
The George Patterson Bates tenure is key, as that’s where Godfrey met Hamish McLennan, chairman and CEO of Y&R.
“We came up in the business together,” McLennan said. “He has always been a change agent — a dynamic and charismatic leader, a true champion of great creative, an innovative thinker. Matt is always several steps ahead of everyone in anticipating what clients need.”
He was gm of both Bates Indochina and Singapore before being named CEO of Bates Singapore and director of SE Asia in 2000. In 2003, he was named COO of the Bates Asia Group, where he remained until joining Publicis in 2006.
This is the second presidential appointment for Y&R this week, following yesterday’s announcement that SapientNitro’s Jane Barratt was named to lead Y&R’s flagship office in New York.