W+K Hires Anomaly Vet Ian Toombs as Executive Creative Director in Shanghai

By Erik Oster 

W+K Shanghai has named Ian Toombs as its new executive creative director, replacing Yang Yeo, who is leaving the agency for personal reasons. In the role, Toombs will work closely with W+K Shanghai managing director Bryan Tilson.

“We’re grateful to Yang for his creative leadership and dedication to transitioning his successor,” Tilson said in a statement. “The Wieden+Kennedy family wishes him all the best as he returns home to Singapore.”

“We’re incredibly excited to have Ian joining W+K Shanghai. He’s a world-class creative leader with a strong design background and work that has a fresh, infectious energy and edge about it,” he added. “He’s exceptionally talented and we expect to see a new chapter of great creative work in China under his leadership.”


Toombs joins W+K Shanghai following a lengthy sabbatical, during which he traveled the world (as one can see from his picture). He joined Anomaly as an art director back in 2006 and worked his way up to roles as executive creative director and head of design for Anomaly’s New York office before leaving the agency in July of 2014. During his time with Anomaly, he helped build the agency’s creative department from a team of five to over fifty. He has worked with brands including Budweiser, P&G, Google, Converse, Diesel, Captain Morgan,  Renaissance Hotels, Jawbone, The New Museum and The One Show.

“I’m adventurous by nature, so the opportunity to lead the office of such a great creative agency in one of Asia’s most dynamic cities is a dream job for me,” Toombs said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to fully immersing myself in China’s vibrant and unique landscape of creativity and culture, furthering W+K’s legacy in China, and helping to redefine how a great creative agency operates in APAC.”

Since opening in 2005, W+K Shanghai has grown to include a team of over 100. Over the past year, the office picked up clients including Corona, A-B InBev’s Hoegaarden, Mondelez’s Milka, Skullcandy and Net Dragon. It also attracted a fair bit of attention with its “The Next Wave” spot for Nike.