Biography

Between 2012 and 2016, Tom was the CEO of J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific, one of the region’s fast growing and most profitable marketing and communications companies. He is also one of Asia’s most respected advertising professionals. His unique combination of pan-Asian work, plus almost two decades based in China, has made him an expert in the cross-border management of brand architecture and brand building, as well as a leading expert in Chinese consumer psychology.

He appears regularly on CNBC, NBC’s The Today Show, Bloomberg and NPR, and is featured in publications ranging from the Financial Times to the Wall Street Journal. He is a sought after keynote speaker for events such as the International Advertising Association’s global symposium, University of Chicago’s Global Management Conference and the JPMorgan Asia Pacific Equities conference.

Tom is the recipient of the “Magnolia Government Award,” the highest honor given by the Shanghai municipal government to expatriates and was an Official Torchbearer for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. He is the author of the best-selling books “Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer” (2006) and “What Chinese Want” (2012). He published his third book, “Twitter Is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing,” in November 2014.  Tom was also a driving force behind Mainland China’s first Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Tom started his career at Leo Burnett in Chicago but jumped ship to JWT in 1992.  In 1994, he moved to Hong Kong as Regional Business Director for clients such as Pepsi, Kraft and Citibank. In 1998, he landed in China as the Managing Director of JWT Shanghai and in 2002, was appointed Northeast Asia Area Director and Greater China CEO.  In 2012, he was appointed the CEO of Asia Pacific for J. Walter Thompson. Through diversification into digital platform design, digital content production, trade marketing and field marketing, JWT Asia Pacific has emerged as one the most synergistically integrated, creatively dynamic communications networks.

During his 22 years based in Asia, Tom has managed the strategy and marketing communications for a uniquely broad base of corporations, both multinational and Asian.   A few of his client partners include:

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1994

Moved to Hong Kong as Regional Business Director for clients such as Pepsi, Kraft and Citibank.

Landed in China as the Managing Director of JWT Shanghai.

1998

2002

Appointed Northeast Asia Area Director (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea) and Greater China CEO.

Received Magnolia Government Award.

2003

2006

Published "Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer."

Official Torchbearer for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

2008

2012

Appointed JWT Asia Pacific CEO.

Published "What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism and the Modern Chinese Consumer."

2012

2014

Published "Twitter is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing."

Speaking

Time, Tension and Ideas: The Art of Engagement
Time, Tension & Ideas Module One: Consumer Insights
Time, Tension & Ideas Module Two: The Brand Idea
Time, Tension & Ideas Module Three: Engagement Ideas
Time, Tension & Ideas Module Four: Engagement Planning
Who Am I? Western versus Eastern Online Identities
Content: the Currency of Connection  
Creating Brand Advocacy in an Era of Digital Empowerment
Twitter is Not a Strategy: Freedom in a Framework
Emerging Market Consumers:  What is “Value?” 
Parallel Universe: Cyber Commerce in China
What Chinese Want
Middle Class Dreams: A perspective on “Emerging Affluent” China
Dreams and Disasters: The Chinese Mass Market
Tuning in to Youth China
A Spoonful of Sugar
The Mind of Chinese Men
Luxury in China: Goldmine or Minefield?
Tigers? A Perspective on Local Brands in China
The Guide to Global Brands – Making it in China
Half the Sky – What Women Want in Today’s China
Journey of the Second Life
China’s Silver Market: From We to Me
Into the Lower-tier Markets
Old World, New Minds: China’s Post 90s Generation