People: Sharlene Wu appointed as new CEO Grey Group China

SHANGHAI, CHINA – Grey Group announced the appointment of Sharlene Wu as the new CEO of Grey Group China. She will work closely with Nirvik Singh (Global COO & President – International, Grey Group) and will lead Grey Advertising, as well as be responsible for the integration of Grey DPI, Grey Star Echo and Grey Easycom, to create a holistic offering for Grey’s clients in China.

Most recently, she was CEO of Proximity China, where she spent 13 years with the agency.

Sharlene Wu, newly appointed CEO of Grey Group China

Leveraging on her China experience, Wu will be responsible for driving the agency’s overall strategic vision and growth plan, furthering business transformation, and providing oversight across key clients and businesses. In tandem with Grey’s creative strength, she will continue to enhance and deliver Grey’s world-class marketing services & integrated solutions to clients.


An accomplished advertising veteran, Wu began her career in 2000 with WPP’s JWT Wings Taiwan and then Ogilvy. Following a short stint with JWT Shanghai in 2006, she then joined as Business Director BBDO Shanghai in 2007, which marked the beginning of her career with Omnicom group.

Starting as general manager Proximity Shanghai, she quickly rose through the ranks and in 2015, was named Managing Director (MD) for both BBDO and Proximity Shanghai. Here she built and oversaw speciality teams across Digital Planning, Data Analytics, Social Media, and Digital Production whilst managing client accounts such as Adidas, Visa, Master Kong, Tencent and Alibaba.

As MD BBDO & Proximity, Wu set up the social media team that led to the Master Kong Beverages and Alibaba Olympic campaign AOR wins and the digital AOR wins of several clients including, Estee Lauder, Shiseido and Adidas. During her tenor, she was also responsible for overseeing award-winning work for Visa, Master Kong and P&G.

Wu was recognised for her success with a promotion to CEO of Proximity China in 2017.

Under Wu’s leadership, the agency won Gold at the 2019 Effie Awards Greater China and scored a Grand Prix at the Great Wall Awards. Proximity Shanghai office was ranked No. 34 globally by WARC 100 and named TOP 3 for Most Ideal Digital Agency in the R3 China 2020 Agency Survey report.

In May 2020, Wu was named CEO following the merger of Proximity and RAPP in China.

Nirvik Singh, “Sharlene is a dynamic, results-oriented leader who has extensive knowledge of our industry. Her appointment is a clear signal of our ambition to aggressively pursue growth and digital transformation in China. She is a seasoned professional with experience across many industries and categories and I am certain, along with our existing China Leadership team, will create a powerhouse offering for our clients. Sharlene is a highly valued addition to the Grey family and we look forward to welcoming her.” He added, “I also want to thank Jeff Kwek for all his hard work and wish him the very best in all his future endeavours as he leaves Grey.”

Sharlene Wu, “Grey has a heritage of famously effective and I’m excited to lead a strategic and digital-focused Grey Group in China, most importantly, we share the same belief that creativity can solve business problem nowadays.” said Wu. “We have a great team in place to deliver innovative and creative work that will drive the growth of our clients’ brands and businesses.”

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