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Grey Group beefs up APAC core Leadership Teams with triple hire

Grey Group has unveiled a set of triple hires – Måns Tesch, Marthinus Strydom and Neil Cotton – in a move to bolster its leadership core in Asia, with a special focus on Grey Group Singapore. The trio will play an instrumental role in deepening Grey Group Singapore’s creative offerings and creative processes, as well as drive the ongoing digital transformation of the company across the region. 

Måns Tesch comes on board in the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer for Grey Group Asia Pacific in order to lead the strategy teams and set the strategic direction across the region and to oversee Grey’s continued immersion into the areas of innovation, mobile and social. 

An accomplished strategic and digital veteran, Tesch joins Grey from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, where he was Chief Strategy Officer for Scandinavia. He led strategy and planning in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, working across the entire client spectrum, including, Arla, Carlsberg, Ikea, Infiniti, Scania and Sony. 

Earlier in his career, in 1996, he co-founded Tesch & Tesch, a pioneering creative hotshop in Stockholm which quickly established itself as one of the top digital creative agencies in Northern Europe. In 2002 they were acquired by Lowe Worldwide and became known as Lowe Tesch before merging with leading Scandinavian agency Lowe Brindfors, in 2007. Thereafter, Tesch was named Global Digital Strategy Director at Lowe Worldwide and based out of London, he developed the digital efforts of the Lowe network around the world whilst working with their global clients, Nestlé, Stella Artois, Unilever and Nokia, among others. 

In 2008, Tesch took on the role of Digital Strategy Director at Fallon in London before re-launching Tesch in 2010 as a strategic and creative consultancy, advising brands such as Cadbury, LVMH, Samsung, Spotify & Unilever, on how to become more relevant through innovation. 

He joined Razorfish as Executive Strategy Director in March 2013, where he worked with names such as Argos, BlackBerry, DHL, and McDonalds and won new clients, including, Beats by Dre, JP Morgan, Novartis and Spotify. This was followed by a stint at Wieden + Kennedy in London working on Samsung’s Olympic Sponsorship and the launch of Angry Birds 2. 

Tesch is one of the world’s most awarded strategists and has been recognized as a ‘Digital Pioneer’ by the FWA (world’s leading community for digital creativity). He has participated on numerous jury panels including Campaign Big Awards, Creative Circle, and D&AD and is a sought-after speaker having chaired Creative Review’s annual “Click” - conference, and spoken at seminars such as The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit, Ad Tech London, and held lectures at Hyper Island. 

Marthinus Strydom has been appointed to the role of Global Creative Leader, Team GSK, Grey Group Singapore. He will work closely with Ali Shabaz (Chief Creative Officer, Grey Group, South East Asia) to set the overall creative direction for Grey’s GSK operations. He will be responsible for fostering an even-deeper culture of creativity and accelerate Team GSK’s digital transformation. Over the span of his much-lauded career, Strydom’s work has been recognised at the D&AD, Webby, Cannes, One Show, Effies, and has been featured on the Gunn Report and other prominent industry publications. 

Originally from South Africa, Strydom has called Singapore home for the past 12 years. Prior to Grey, he did a six-year stint as a Creative Director of BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore), where he led several memorable projects for the likes of Google, IKEA, UOB Bank, Chupa Chups, and Vaseline. In an earlier role as Digital Associate Creative Director at BBDO (New York), Strydom was credited for the development of groundbreaking integrated work for A-list clients, including AT&T and GE. 

The appointments of Tesch and Strydom follow that of key senior hire, Neil Cotton, who has joined in the dual role of Global Strategy Director for GSK and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) for Grey Group Singapore. His career has seen him collaborate with several brands such as Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Heineken, Audi, IBM, and Nokia, among others. 

Prior to Grey, Cotton was the founder of Liberty Networks, a brand and innovation consultancy with Unilever, Infiniti, OCBC, and Channel NewsAsia amongst its clientele. An industry veteran of 27 years, he has previously held a number of senior leadership roles, including, Senior Partner & Worldwide Group Planning Director (1992-2002) at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, where he worked on IBM’s fast growing software business as well as assisting the client with several big acquisitions and partnerships. Cotton then went on to become the Regional Head of Planning (2002-2005) at Bates, Hong Kong (HK), and was instrumental in building the planning function and re-positioning the Bates network before it was acquired by WPP. In 2005, he joined Lowe Worldwide, HK, as the Regional Chief Strategy Officer (2005-07) and was widely credited with bringing in the planning discipline to their Asia operations. Cotton was also the founder of GMT+8 Consulting, HK/Shanghai (2007-09), where he worked with agencies and clients to find solutions to big strategic communications problems. From 2009-11, he took on the role of Regional Chief Strategy Officer at Young & Rubicam, Singapore, and was attributed as a key contributor in developing their planning resources. 

On the hiring for Grey Group Singapore, Nirvik Singh, Chairman & CEO, Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said, “In order to enhance Grey’s core leadership team, we continue to hire world-class talents in Neil Cotton and Marthinus Strydom. They have deep knowledge and proven track records in their specific areas of expertise and their roles are directed towards delivering our very best for our clients.” 

On having Måns Tesch on board, he commented, “In today’s dynamic environment, strategy, data and technology all play a crucial role and Måns is one of the world’s most experienced in this field. We want to take Grey to the next level and there is no better person to help us achieve this goal.”

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