Ramsey to Lead Publicis Asia-Pacific Ops

Publicis Worldwide has named Kevin Ramsey chairman, CEO of Publicis Asia-Pacific. He succeeds Matt Godfrey, who is returning to his native Australia.

Ramsey (pictured), who will be based in Hong Kong, is the former president, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Asia-Pacific and ex-CEO, McCann Worldwide Group Japan. He assumed broader Asia-Pacific responsibilities in June 2007 after begin tapped to head McCann’s Japan operations at the start of 2005. Earlier in his career, Ramsey helmed of JWT and M&C Saatchi networks in the region.

Richard Pinder, Publicis Worldwide chief operating officer — who once worked as regional marketing director at Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific — said of Ramsey’s arrival: “I regarded him as a formidable competitor when I was working in the region and am proud to have him join us.”

“He builds winning teams, has tremendous operational experience across the region and combines blue chip global client expertise with entrepreneurial flair,” Pinder continued. “Importantly, we share common values — a commitment to creativity, to digital marketing solutions and to creating contagious ideas that change the conversation to drive growth for our clients and their brands.”

Pinder said of Godfrey’s departure as regional CEO: “When I appointed Matt two years ago, he told me he wanted to move to Australia with the family by the middle of this year, so this is a planned succession.”

In August, McCann Worldgroup said Ramsey was leaving his Tokyo-based position at the agency and the company named Michael McLaren, CEO of Worldgroup’s EXP global production division, as his replacement. At the time, Ramsey, a native New Zealander, said: “I have been working in Japan now for nearly five years. It is a very challenging market and very taxing both from a business and personal perspective. As a result, I have been discussing the issue of my succession with (CEO of McCann Worldgroup) John Dooner for some time now. Given my desire to remain in Asia, and the McCann system of having the Asia-Pacific president also run the biggest market, Japan, the natural consequence is that I will now look for another opportunity.”