Naga DDB has named Kristian Lee (pictured) as its new CEO. Lee succeeds the agency’s previous CEO David Mitchell who was attached with Naga DDB since December 2008.
This is the second promotion for Lee in 2016. Earlier this year he was made the agency’s group executive director, moving up from his previous role of business development director – in which he had been holding since joining the agency in 2012. In the new role, Lee will be managing overall operations for the agency, upscaling Naga DDB’s service offerings to clients, driving new business growth and consolidating the Foetus Group’s capabilities to deliver a higher standard of marketing communications services to clients.
For the last four years, Lee has been serving as business development director of Naga DDB in charge of generating new business for the agency and to build on the agencies products and services. Prior to that Lee had served for a few years in Astro Malaysia’s marketing department and before returning to Malaysia, he had a stint in DDB London as a Strategic Brand Planner.
In a conversation with A+M, Lee said the challenge for agencies today is to ensure it is well equipped to strategise and propose not just marketing communication solutions but also business solutions for clients.
“Gone are the days where an advertising agency would be tasked to deliver simply comm strategies and creative execution,” he said. Today agencies need to have client’s business needs in mind, obviously whilst ensuring their brand equity with their constituencies is at a high level.
“The mindset that we are at this moment adopting is one where we cannot sit still and be satisfied with our current capabilities. The hope that we have for the agency is to be a holistic business solutions provider supported by best in class brand strategy consultation and creativity. We hope very much to foster an environment here where entrepreneurship and creativity can thrive,” Lee added.
To do so, Naga DDB will be looking at attracting talent from all walks of life not just those who have backgrounds in advertising and marketing but also those from start-up and tech industries amongst others. Naga DDB has been steadily ramping up its teams with new hires recently. Its new head of planning, Chia Pi Wo, will also officially join the agency today. Meanwhile its new deputy executive creative director, Paul Lim who joined the agency on 1 August, will primarily be in charge of Digi account.
A+M understands that Lee is also group executive director of Naga DDB’s parent company - a Malaysian-headquartered marketing communications organisation called, The Foetus Group. Other companies under the Foetus group include Tribal Worldwide, Rapp Malaysia, Milk + Co, Milk PR, SoftSpace, Beyond Events and Vogue Point.
Some of the agency's biggest clients include Astro, Hong Leong Bank, Prudential, Panasonic and KFC.