People: TBWA\ appoints Asia regional Head of Innovation

SINGAPORE — Tessa Conrad, global director of operations, TBWA\Worldwide has been appointed to the role of head of innovation with immediate effect. Tessa will be based out of TBWA\Singapore and will be responsible for accelerating the collective’s innovation strategy across the region for client partners, the Singapore agency, and the Asia collective.

Said Sean Donovan, president, TBWA\Asia: “Disruptive Innovation is at the core of TBWA’s philosophy and remains a crucial investment area for us. While the world continues to operate in an environment of constant change, our commitment to invest in our ability to discover and map new territories of growth for our clients remains more relevant than ever.”

As a result of TBWA’s deliberate approach and investment in the areas of innovation and culture, the agency enjoyed a strong 2020 increasing its non-traditional revenue by almost 250%. As head of innovation, Tessa will build on existing foundations, fast-tracking and scaling current capabilities while building new offerings with the objective of placing Asia at the centre of TBWA’s growth.


Tessa began her TBWA career in Hong Kong where she worked on a variety of clients and projects including evolving TBWA’s 25-year-old Disruption methodology with the launch of Disruption LIVE (D LIVE), a platform that engendered a deeper connection with the changing shifts of culture and how these shifts impact our clients’ businesses. D LIVE was scaled across the entire TBWA global collective in 2015. 

Prior to Tessa’s move to Singapore, she was global director of operations, based out of TBWA’s Worldwide headquarters in New York City. In this capacity, Tessa helped lead many of TBWA’s future-focused initiatives, which continue to push the collective forward, including 10X, our global innovation platform; D-Cell, a capability-specific upskilling accelerator; NEXT, an in-depth analyses of our future trends and how they affect our clients’ business ecosystems and brand experiences over the next three to five years; and Knowledge Hub, TBWA’s internal intelligence center where our best insights, learnings, and creative work are accessible to the entire global collective. 

Commenting on her appointment, Tessa said: “Asia continues to remain at the frontline of change, which will impact the world for decades to come – the sheer scale and speed of the innovation coming out of this region makes the role a really exciting one. 

“I’m looking forward to working with Sean, our clients, partners and the entire team across the region, as the heart of innovation comes from our people, and TBWA\Asia is well placed for success.” 

Tessa’s category expertise includes auto, quick service restaurant (QSR), financial services, information communication and technology (ICT) and telecommunications, while she has and will continue to forge partnerships with key platforms and companies. 

Concluded Sean Donovan: “We’re delighted to welcome Tessa’s return to Asia to supercharge our innovation capabilities deeper into the collective to determine the right course of action for our clients, which will enable them to secure a greater share of the future.”

In recognition of TBWA’s commitment and investment towards a sustainable innovation strategy, the collective has been named one of the world’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’ by Fast Company for three consecutive years.

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