SINGAPORE: Burson-Marsteller has hired Barkha Patel-Zinzuwadia from Weber Shandwick as Singapore market leader.
Most recently SVP and head of the technology practice for Asia-Pacific at Weber, Patel-Zinzuwadia will also be a member of the Asia-Pacific leadership team and report to Patrick Ford, Asia-Pacific regional chair.
The appointment is an opportunity for the firm to build its technology capabilities, and she will also help it serve the multinational corporations that use Singapore as a hub, Ford said.
He acknowledged that the market leader role in Singapore has been vacant for almost two years due to an “unfortunate series of coincidental events.” Steve Bown was the previous market leader.
Efforts to fill the spot by both Ford and former regional CEO Bob Pickard had fallen through for various reasons, he said. However, the Singapore office did well despite the vacancy, for which Ford praised MD Danny Pham, who leads the corporate and branding practices in Singapore.
The office's performance afforded Ford the luxury to search for the right person, and he believes Patel-Zinzuwadia's experience on both the client and agency sides, as well as in multiple sectors, makes her that person.
The company has also hired Ben Evetts as director and head of technology for Burson Singapore. He has more than 14 years of experience, most recently with Weber Shandwick in London.
Regionally, the agency had a solid 2013 and is well positioned to build on that success this year, Ford said. He cited growth in Japan and especially in China as strong indicators. In the latter market, Burson went from having four seven-figure accounts at the beginning of 2013 to eight today, he added.
This story originally appeared on the website of Campaign Asia-Pacific.