Jeffrey Yu, Chairman of Bates 141 Asia, has confirmed that he has been asked to leave the agency following what he describes as disagreements over its future.
Yu’s exact date of departure has yet to be confirmed but is expected to be before the end of the year.
“By now you may have heard the news that I have recently been requested to step down from Bates 141 as Chairman of the network. The reason given is due to disagreements over the future direction of the agency network,” Yu said in his personal statement.
“I would hope that, after 25 years’ loyal service, acceptable terms can be agreed as the basis of my departure as Chairman of the network,” he added.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank all the loyal clients and employees with whom I have worked for the support and friendship that they have shown to me. I wish them all every success and hope that we will have the opportunity to work together again in the future.”
In the interim, Tim Isaac, Chairman of the Bates Ogilvy Group in Asia-Pacific, will become actively involved with the regional management while the agency searches for a replacement.
Isaac, who started his career at Bates London in the early 70s, said: “We have plans to continue to place greater focus on its BRIC and N11 growth markets, including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. We see this as the future of the agency, which already has revenues of US$ 60 million, and is a profitable business. There are good people at the agency and working together we see a bright future.”
Since 2003, Bates 141 financial reporting has gone through Ogilvy to WPP. The companies share backroom operations to maximise operational efficiency.
Issac will work closely with Managing Partner Conrad Chiu (overseeing Greater China), Frederique Covington (ASEAN), Sonal Dabral (India) and India Board Member Ranjan Kapur (India) to manage the various sub regions. Managing Partner David Meredith will continue to provide creative regional leadership and HR support.
According to a company statement, Yu’s career with Bates 141 started in 1985. He has been responsible for Asia since 2000. “Ever the restless change agent, he leaves to pursue other interests,” said the statement.
Reported in May, Bates 141 Asia-Pacific CEO Digby Richards resigned after almost four years with the agency. Arthur Yu, CEO of Bates China and Taiwan, also left the agency in the same month to become President of fellow WPP marketing agency Soho Square across China.