As published on Marketing Interactive on 13 April 2021
Former APAC CEO of Grace Blue Partnership, Jean-Michel Wu, has taken on a new role at digital media company TotallyAwesome as head of talent. In his new role, Wu will be primarily tasked with identifying and attracting the best talent in Asia Pacific that is suited to TotallyAwesome’s growth plans. He will also be supporting existing executives with opportunities and coaching to improve their own professional capabilities. The new position will also see Wu (pictured) work with TotallyAwesome CEO, Will Anstee, and a growing regional management team. Wu reports to Anstee in his new role. Anstee, who was previously the Asia Pacific president of Initiative, joined the company earlier last July.
Prior to his new role, Wu was with international executive search firm Pedersen & Partners as its client partner and head of consumer and retail practice in APAC for a year. With 25 years of experience working across executive recruitment and human resources, Wu was also had previous stints as the chief talent officer APAC for McCann Worldgroup, chief talent officer of WPP APAC, and regional talent director for Ogilvy in Asia. His prior experience in executive search focused on the consumer and retail sectors with international executive search organisations, during which time he focused on C-Level searches across Asia Pacific.
TotallyAwesome provides a forum for kids, teens and families to safely interact with brands across thousands of apps, games and websites. The business has more than 300 million monthly active users across APAC and adheres to international governments’ most advanced regulations protecting kids’ data privacy. According to its website, TotallyAwesome has offices in Singapore, Australia and Vietnam. Some of the brands TotallyAwesome work with include Disney, Netflix, Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Lego, and Nintendo, among others.
Wu is the third senior management executive joining TotallyAwesome in the past three weeks. In late March, James Sawyer was announced as managing director of Australia/New Zealand and last week Mikio Kudo joined as country manager of Japan.
Wu said: “Having worked for large holding groups, the opportunity to assist TotallyAwesome is very attractive because of the unusual nature of the business. As a father of young children, I am naturally concerned about the nature of engagement our kids will have on the internet. TotallyAwesome is dedicated to responsible and appropriate interaction between kids, their families and brands, so I am excited to be helping Anstee and the whole team with building a high-performance culture centred around a real purpose.”
Anstee added that the company has ambitious plans for expansion in APAC, and hiring the right regional and national leadership is a critical aspect of its progress. “Wu brings very rare experience, knowledge and connections across the region and I am very pleased he is available to help us,” he added.