Essence promotes APAC CEO Kyoko Matsushita to lead agency globally

WPP’s Group M has made its first global leadership appointments since Christian Juhl was announced as the next global CEO last month, naming Kyoko Matsushita as Essence’s global CEO and Jennifer Remling as Group M’s global chief people officer.

Matsushita steps up from her current role as Essence’s APAC CEO and global chief client officer to replace Juhl, who was global CEO for the agency before being promoted to the global Group M role.

Essence’s new global CEO, Kyoko Matsushita, will be based out of San Francisco

As Essence’s global CEO, she will continue to report to Juhl, and be based out of San Francisco.

“Kyoko’s deep relationships with our clients, her knowledge of our culture, and her vision for the future make her the perfect person to lead Essence into its next era of growth and innovation,” said Juhl.

“I am looking forward to working closely with her in my new role at Group M.”

Joining the agency in 2014 to lead its APAC expansion, Matsushita was responsible for the establishment of offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Jakarta, Tokyo, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Before joining Essence, she held roles at Electronic Arts and Sony.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this truly exceptional agency at a time when data and technology give us so much potential to unlock value for our clients,” said Matsushita.

“Essence was founded to lead the industry in creating trustworthy, relevant, and valuable advertising. I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can accomplish when we combine this mission with our clients’ ambition and the power of data science and big ideas.”

Remling replaces Tim Cecere, who has stepped into a new role at holding group WPP as global head of people transformation. She joins from Essence, where she was global chief talent officer, but has also worked at R/GA AKQA and 360i. Beginning with Essence after its 2015 acquisition by Group M and WPP, Remling grew the agency’s team by 40% as it opened 18 new global offices.

Jennifer Remling replaces Tim Cecere

“People are what make Group M great – their creativity, drive for innovation, entrepreneurialism and passion for helping our clients grow. Jennifer really understands this and has spent the better part of the last four years working tirelessly alongside myself and our leadership team to build Essence into an agency where people truly are our biggest differentiator,” said Juhl.

“I look forward to what she’ll achieve together with the incredible talent leaders across Group M.”

Cecere joined WPP in 1989, when he joined Ogilvy as human resources manager, and was part of the original Group M leadership team at its inception in 2003. As global head of people transformation for WPP, Cecere will be tasked with overseeing the architecture that supports more than 130,000 team members worldwide.


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