Ken Mandel joins SMG in global client role

Ken Mandel.
Ken Mandel.

Former Hootsuite and exec is tasked with "connecting the dots globally" for Anheuser-Busch, InBev, Mead Johnson and others.

SINGAPORE — Starcom Mediavest Group has hired former Hootsuite and executive Ken Mandel as APAC president of its Global Client Network practice.

Based in Singapore but with a global mandate, Mandel will report to John Sheehy, SMG president of global operations, and serve on the Global Leadership Council.

The Global Client Network is "a seamless global organization" for clients that operate in multiple markets, "providing brand growth and innovation," according to SMG.

Mandel will work with counterparts Kim Kadlec in the Americas and Jodie Stranger in EMEA to "drive closer alignment" with the needs of SMG’s top 15 global clients, the company.

With the Global Client Network, SMG is kicking its game up a notch for global clients, Mandel said. "SMG wanted to have, and I've always believed this as well, a seamless setup for clients across multiple markets, specifically working to drive top clients' business," he said. "SMG is accelerating this by having three presidents around the world who are going to connect the dots globally."

With many brands operating as much out of far-flung markets as their official headquarters (wherever they may be), the global practice is critical for leveraging innovations and relationships from one region to another in order to accelerate growth, Mandel said.

SMG mentioned Anheuser-Busch InBev and Mead Johnson as examples of blue-chip clients for whom Mandel will be responsible for "bringing new, business-building brand solutions to the table."

He will also work with Bertilla Teo and Mike Amour, the CEOs for North Asia and SEAPAC, respectively, and collaborate with global account leaders and CEOs to ensure consistency for clients.

"I've always enjoyed working in big corporations, but what led me out of them was a need to deepen my technical skills," Mandel said. "Now I get to bring almost a decade's worth of that knowledge back to an industry I've always loved. I am looking forward to working with a lot of smart, dynamic people."

Mandel has already started working with SMG, but begins in the office Monday. His last 'real' job was as APAC MD for Hootsuite, a post he left late last year due to a restructuring. At the time he said he was not in a hurry to start a new job and would take time out for family and his startup accelerator, Jam Ventures. Mandel said today he followed through on that plan, although he did work on a few "behind-the-scenes projects". He also took time to serve as a judge in Campaign Asia-Pacific's startup search, Campaign Innovate.

In a press statement, Laura Desmond, SMG’s global CEO, said Mandel's "expertise and pioneering footprint in digital," will give SMG a competitive advantage to help clients "unlock growth and business transformation."

This article first appeared on

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