JWT Head of Digital Worldwide Stefano Zunino today appointed Nanda Ivens as CEO of XM Asia Pacific, one of Asia’s largest digital marketing agencies. Ivens served most recently as the CEO of XM Gravity, the Indonesian unit of JXM Asia Pacific, a JWT company. He succeeds Paul Soon who is departing the company to pursue new opportunities. Soon worked with XM Asia Pacific for a decade and served as CEO for four years.
Ivens began his journey with XM Asia as a partner in Magnivate, a Jakarta-based digital agency which was acquired by XM Asia in 2012 and renamed XM Gravity. He assumed the role of CEO of XM Gravity in January 2014 when founding partner Kevin Mintaraga moved into the role of Chairman.
Prior to joining XM Gravity, Ivens served as both Vice President of IndoPacific Edelman Indonesia’s Digital, Technology and Consumer practice, and the Indonesia Director of Edelman Digital. He also worked at Neo@Ogilvy, The Economist, and Mindshare Interaction.
“XM Asia is one of our largest and most dynamic digital agencies, and Nanda is the right person to take the XM network to the next level. He’s got an international mindset and a deep understanding of Asia’s digitally savvy consumers,” said Zunino. “Paul has built an incredible team across multiple markets and grown XM into a truly regional agency. I wish him all the best in his next adventure.”
Soon expanded XM Asia’s regional presence through organic growth and acquisitions, including Magnivate Indonesia, Designer City in Hong Kong, Thomas Idea in Thailand, and the recent acquisition in SoFresh in Vietnam. Today, XM Asia has more than 600 digital specialists in seven countries.
“Our success in the region is due to our people and our passion, and I feel that it is time for me to pass the torch to Nanda to grow on the foundation of what we have all worked very hard to build in the past few years,” said Soon. “I have every faith that he will be successful in this new role.”
“Nanda brings so much to this role, personally and professionally. He has honed his digital marketing skills in Indonesia, which one of the world’s most important emerging economies and one the world’s most active social media markets. He is also an insightful, dynamic and engaging person who make instant connections wherever he goes,” said Gustavo Martinez, Global President, JWT Worldwide. “Asia is a high priority region for us, and I’m thrilled to see Nanda take on the leadership of XM.”
Ivens, which is the first Indonesian to lead an agency on a regional level, told AdDiction that he plans to remain based in Jakarta, and travel to XM Asia’s other offices as need be. With over 170 employees and still growing, XM Gravity is the group’s largest office, handling major clients such as Huawei, Unilever, XL Axiata, Singapore Tourism Board, and Frisian Flag.
According to Ivens, XM Gravity will not be appointing a replacement CEO as the company has a group of directors overseeing the different aspects of the business and he will be available for discussion and assistance with local operations as required.