Key themes driving APAC senior executive leadership hiring trends - May 2020

Most leadership teams have now been in continuous crisis management and business continuity mode for an extended period of time. At the time of writing we are starting to see a number of the region’s markets beginning to relax (or at least contemplating doing so) social distancing and lock-down restrictions. Although the long-term economic impact of Covid-19 and the post pandemic ‘new normal’ is far from certain, in this edition of Leadership Digest, we set out to share some predictions as businesses contemplate the post lock-down environment.

Executive Hiring
Executive hiring processes that were ongoing or nearing completion as Covid-19 gripped the region generally did continue and complete. New hires have been successfully onboarded remotely and as travel restrictions / stay-at-home mandates remain in place both hiring managers and candidates are becoming more comfortable with ‘virtual’ hiring processes.

As the pandemic took hold in North America and Europe executive hiring that was yet to proceed in region was assessed as being business critical or temporarily paused. International mobility has been significantly challenged and while some candidates have been onboarded in their home country with a view to relocating in the future, we would expect less appetite for international mobility in the short to medium term.

While virtual ways of working are expected to lead to flexible and remote working practices becoming more common in other regions, it is debatable whether the same will occur in Asia given cultural preferences for face to face interactions. Enhancements to safe working and hygiene practices are increasingly being demanded.

Tactical v Strategic
Unsurprisingly, throughout the pandemic there has been a predominant focus for all enablement, infrastructure and control leadership on short term tactical decision making. CHROs (balancing well-being, scenario planning, organisational rightsizing & talent gap mapping); technology leadership (managing infrastructure capacity / reliability, remote working capability, cybersecurity & re-evaluating outsourcing v insourcing) and CROs (resiliency risk / operational risk) have been particularly visible.
As individual markets start to return to the ‘new normal’, focus is increasingly turning to managing future strategic requirements including new technology business models (particularly online channels), investment in innovation & project prioritization; the role & capability of off-shore centres, and the continued strengthening of remote working capabilities & cyber security.

Inevitably the crisis will have highlighted individual leadership limitations as well as platform, process and infrastructure capability gaps. In addition to addressing these specific gaps, we expect to see more strategic human capital planning including development of high potential talent programs and more robust succession planning focused on future leadership that can deliver change, manage across business lines, be effective communicators & leaders (to and of remote resources) and partner with senior management and Boards.
We would also expect increased debate around the use of executive interim solutions versus permanent headcount.

Moving forward
As previously acknowledged, the post pandemic ‘new normal’ is far from certain but some sectors – healthcare, insurance, life sciences, cybersecurity, IT & software – it can be assumed look set to grow.

Asia as a region is used to volatility and is known for its resilience, agility and perseverance. Executive hiring remains muted relative to the same period last year but discussions are gaining pace across the region in response to long-term strategic ambitions and requirements. For the time being those will largely remain virtual processes and primarily focused on localised leadership solutions.

CEO Appointments

  • Neil Harvey joins ADM Capital as Executive Chairman for Asia Pacific Private Credit. He had previously been CEO of Hong Kong and Greater China for Credit Suisse as well as Head of Asia Pacific Asset Management.
  • Chandran Nair is appointed CEO of AEM Holdings. He is currently Group President of the company.
  • Wong Sze Keed is appointed Singapore CEO of AIA and will replace Patrick Teow. Sze Keed was most recently Chief Distribution Officer.
  • Vinay Surana is appointed Regional Chief Executive Officer for Asia Pacific by Allianz Partners. He joins from AIG and was previously Senior Vice President, Head of Individual Personal Insurance for Asia Pacific.
  • Kevin Goh is appointed Chief Executive, Lodging at CapitaLand. He will concurrently be Chief Executive of The Ascott.
  • Charles Lin joins CLSA as Vice Chairman. He was previously Asia Chief Executive at Vanguard.
  • Karsten Kemna is appointed Managing Director of Asia Pacific by Crealogix. He joins from ERI Bancaire where he was Asia Pacific Managing Director.
  • Alexander von zur Mühlen is appointed Asia Pacific Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank. He was most recently Global Head of Group Strategy.
  • Chi-Won Yoon joins Diginex as Chairman of Asia. He had earlier served as President of UBS Group Asia Pacific and Vice Chairman of UBS Wealth Management Business.
  • Filippo Gori is appointed Asia Pacific CEO of JPMorgan Chase. He holds the role concurrently with his current role as HK Chief Executive and Head of Asia Pacific Banking.
  • Andy Chai is appointed Asia CEO of J. Safra Sarasin. He joins from BNP Paribas where he was the Co-CEO of Wealth Management Division. Vinay Gandhi is named Deputy CEO for Asia and will concurrently continue in his role as CEO of Singapore.
  • Clarence Tan is appointed Group CEO of Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels. He was previously Managing Director for South East Asia and Korea with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
  • Mark Henderson is promoted CEO of MUFG Securities Asia. He was previously Deputy CEO and Chief Risk Officer.
  • John Warren is appointed Provenir’s General Manager and Managing Director APAC / Oceania. He joined from Pegasystems where he was Regional Director, Sales, Financial Services.
  • Robin Spencer is appointed Chief Executive of Prudential’s Thailand Unit. He is currently Chief Operating Officer of Prudential Corporation Asia.
  • Eileen Chua is appointed Managing Director for SAP Singapore. She joined SAP in 2011 and was most recently Director of Key Accounts.
  • Chris Durack and Susan Soh are appointed Co-Heads of Asia Pacific at Schroders. Chris will concurrently remain as Country Head of Australia while Susan will concurrently remain as Country Head of Singapore.
  • Wong Kim Yin is named Group President and CEO of Sembcorp Industries. He joins from SP Group where he was CEO.
  • Neil Parekh is appointed Head of Asia, Australia and New Zealand of Tikehau Capital. He joins from National Australia Bank where he was General Manager Asia.
  • Scott Conking is appointed Head of Asia of Vanguard. He was previously Head of US-based Institutional Investor Services.
  • Peter King is named Group CEO of Westpac. He was previously Interim CEO and CFO.

COO & CMO Appointments

  • Andrea Fletcher is named Chief Operating Officer for Asia by Citi. She joined the bank in 1999 and was most recently Managing Director and Global Head of Client Strategy, Equities and Prime Finance.
  • Daniel Chung is promoted to be Chief Operating Officer of CLSA Capital Partners. He was previously Managing Director and Head of Transaction Management / Legal.
  • Sharon Oh joins HSBC Private Banking as Chief Operating Officer. She joins from JP Morgan where she was Chief of Staff.
  • Mayank Dutt is appointed Head of Marketing and Communications for Southeast Asia of Mastercard. He joins from Citibank where he was the Director of Regional Insurance, APAC EMEA.

Technology, Operations and Digital Executive Appointments

  • Iain Briggs joins Allianz Technology as Head of Asia Pacific. He was previously APAC CIO of AIG Asia Pacfic Holdings Ptd.
  • Andrew McCormack is appointed Head of the Innovation Hub Centre Singapore by The Bank for International Settlements. He was previously CIO at Payments Canada.
  • Sunil Varkey is appointed MD & Global Head of Cyber Security Assessments & Testing at HSBC. He was formerly CTO & Security Strategist – Middle East, Africa & Eastern Europe of Symantec.
  • Sam Lee is appointed Managing Director of Data Centres by Lendlease Data Centre Partners. He was previously Managing Director at Global Switch.
  • Rajesh Thapar joins OakNorth as CISO. He was formerly CISO of Yes Bank.
  • Denis Dorssers joins Revantage Corporate Service as BRE Asia CTO. He joins from UOB Group where he was Executive Director, Enterprise Architecture Head.
  • Youngran Kim joins Swiss Re in Zurich as Group Chief Technology Officer. She was previously Regional CIO, APAC at Allianz in Singapore.

Finance Executive Appointments

  • Polly Lau is promoted Head of Finance at 7-Eleven, prior to this role she was Financial Controller.
  • Sam Ho is appointed CFO at Ant Bank. He joins from Citi where he was Director, Financial Controller, Malaysia.
  • Santiago Chuen joined Caritas as Head of Finance. He joined from The Open University of Hong Kong where he was Director of Finance.
  • Sanushka Wijayadasa is promoted CFO, North Asia at CBRE, he was previously their CFO, Greater China.
  • Chia-Min Tan joins Fullerton Health in Singapore as Group CFO. She joined from Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong where she was Managing Director.
  • Vanessa Lau is promoted Group CFO at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), she was previously CFO, Hong Kong at HKEX.
  • Thomas Tan is appointed Head of Group Audit and Risk Management at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong. He joined from PT Astratel Nusantara (ASTRA Infra) in Indonesia where he was Finance Director.
  • Yohanes Sutijadi is promoted Finance Director, APAC Middle East & Africa at LEDVANCE, he was previously their CFO ASEAN.
  • Queenie Leung joins Liquidnet as Financial Controller, APAC. She was previously Head of Group Reporting at CLSA.
  • Keith Ng is promoted Director, Finance at Link REIT, prior to this role he was Head of Capital Markets.
  • Toby Brown relocated to New York with MetLife being appointed Executive VP, Chief Audit Executive. He was previously Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer MetLife Japan based in Tokyo.
  • Cairine Haslam is appointed CFO, Singapore & South East Asia New Markets at Microsoft, she was previously with Microsoft as their Head of Investments for APAC.
  • Alan Choi is promoted CFO, Greater China Foods at PepsiCo, he was previously their Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions.
  • Andrew Tam is appointed CFO at Stella International. He joined from Li & Fung where he was EVP, Corporate Finance, IR, FP&A.

Legal, Risk and Compliance Executive Appointments

  • Ian Foo joins AXA as Legal Director. He joined from Jardine Matheson where he was Legal Counsel, Group Legal.
  • Marilouise Hughes becomes APAC Head of Conduct Risk Management Compliance and Global Accountability Regimes Framework at Citi. She was previously Global Head of Conduct Risk Governance & Oversight at UBS.
  • Waranon Vanichprapa and Samata Masagee joined DLA Piper Bangkok as Partners. They joined from Baker McKenzie and Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners, respectively.
  • Sonford Yuen joins Finaxar as Group Chief Risk Officer and Country Head, Hong Kong. He was formerly Senior Advisor / Deputy CEO and Chief Risk Officer of Easy One Financial Group Ltd.
  • Theng Theng Quek becomes Head of Risk Management & Compliance at FWD Singapore. She joined from Aviva Financial Advisers where she was Head of Risk Management & Compliance.
  • Sophie Cusition becomes Senior Specialist at IAG in Sydney, she joined from Deloitte where she was Director, Governance, Regulation and Conduct.
  • Amit Kumar Devralia joins Indian Bank Net Banking in Singapore as Chief Compliance Officer, AML. He joined from ICICI Bank where he was Senior Compliance Manager.
  • Mark Cooper joins Latham & Watkins as Partner in Singapore. He joined from Hogan Lovells.
  • Rembert Meyer-Rochow becomes Executive Director, Legal and General Counsel Asia Pacific & Japan at Lenovo. He joined from Autodesk where he was Director, Senior Corporate Counsel, Asia Pacific.
  • Kien-Pin Chen joins Liquid Group as Head of Compliance. He was previously Director, Head of Sanctions & Embargoes, APAC, Anti-Financial Crime at Deutsche Bank.
  • Helena Kok is appointed Partner and Head of Employment and Immigration Practice of MdME Lawyers. She joined from Galaxy Entertainment Group where she was the Vice President of Legal.
  • Bernard Kwan joins Pifzer as Legal Director. He was formerly Associate at Clifford Chance.
  • June Ang joins Revantage Corporate Services as Head of Insurance Risk BRE Asia. She joined from Jardine Lloyd Thompson where she was Assistant Director of Major Corporates.
  • Alan Hughes is appointed Executive Director, Head of Legal Services, SE Asia at Vistra in Singapore. He was previously Counsel at Carey Olsen in South Africa.

Human Resources Executive Appointments

  • Annella Heytens is appointed Head of Human Resources for APJC at Amazon Web Services. She was formerly CPO for Bottling Investments Group at Coca Cola.
  • Edward McKay becomes Head of People at Atom International Technology. He was previously Senior People & Culture Manager.
  • Craig Stevenson is appointed Human Resources Director for Asia at Bain Capital. He was formerly Director for Talent and Leadership at Prudential Corporation Asia.
  • Rudy Lepagnol is appointed Director of Global Talent Mobility at Cartus. He was formerly Senior Manager for APAC.
  • Sally Wong joins Chanel as Head of Talent Management for APAC. She was previously Global Talent Effectiveness Director at Mars.
  • George Saliba becomes Human Resources Director SGHQ at Danone. He is promoted from Regional OD Transformation Manager for ASPAME in Singapore.
  • Judit Hordai joins foodpanda as Head of HR for Singapore. She was formerly Group People Lead at MoneySmart Group.
  • Philippe Wimmer is appointed Head of Extended Workforce for People Operations at Grab. He was previously Operations Director covering Procurement and Contractor Services for APAC and India at Microsoft.
  • Lucia Seltmann becomes Director of Human Resources at Hofer KG. She was previously Director of Global Mobility at Aldi China.
  • Michael Dannemann is appointed Head of HR Asia (excluding Greater China) at Munich Re. He is promoted from Head of HR for Southeast Asia.
  • Joanne Ho becomes Head of Human Resources at NTT Data Singapore. She joins from Instron where she was Regional HR Manager for Asia excluding China.
  • Charmaine Lim is elevated to Head of People & Culture for Singapore at Phillip Morris International. She was previously Manager for People & Culture Life Sciences.
  • Surya Rai becomes Region HR Director for ASEAN, Japan and Korea at RB. He joins from Procter & Gamble where he was Head of HR, Procter & Gamble, Korea & HR Capability Leader for Asia HR.
  • Simon Greaves becomes Global Head of Talent Intelligence at SAP. He was previously VP for Talent Acquisition for APJC.
  • Tze Puan Oon is appointed Talent and Learning Director at Schneider Electric. He was formerly Regional HR Director.
  • David Pang becomes VP for HR and Chief of Staff at Shiseido. He was formerly Chief of Staff.
  • Minoru Jim Nakamura becomes CPO & Chief Wellness Officer at Shiseido. He was previously Deputy CPO.
  • Elaine Liu is appointed Group Associate Director & CHRO at Sino Group. She was formerly General Manager for Human Resources.
  • May Laroza joins Structo as Chief People Officer. She was previously Human Resources Director at Fonterra.
  • Bianca So is appointed VP of HR for North Asia, Asia Pacific & Shared Services at Tiffany & Co. She was previously Senior Regional HR Director for Greater China & APAC.
  • Yip Crysial becomes VP for Human Resources Asia at TT Inc. She was formerly HR Director Asia.
  • Welch Er is appointed Head of HR at United Industrial Corporation. She was formerly Associate Director for Human Resources at MSD.

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