Cohn & Wolfe has announced the appointment of Matt Stafford as President, Asia-Pacific. Stafford will oversee the agency’s 12 Asia-Pacific offices, working closely with market leaders across Greater China, India and Southeast Asia. Reporting to Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer, Cohn & Wolfe Group, Stafford will be based in Hong Kong beginning August 18.
Building on his agency leadership experience across APAC and as the previous cabinet secretary in the Australian government, Stafford will play a key role in building new business, client service and talent development and retention.
“Asia is a strategic priority for us, as it represents a tremendous opportunity for continued growth for both our clients and our agency. We’ve been highly selective in our search for our new Asia-Pacific president, and I’m confident Matt is the right person to elevate our business in the region,” says Imperato. “Not only does Matt have an impeccable track record of Asian agency leadership, he is widely respected for his broad expertise across corporate, consumer and technology, and for his ability to enact effective solutions in challenging situations. We are thrilled to have him join us at such a critical time in our global expansion.”
Stafford has over 15 years of communications experience in Asia, including senior agency and government leadership roles. As CEO of Burson-Marsteller’s China and Hong Kong markets between 2011 and 2014, Stafford oversaw a substantial business transformation to high revenues and profitability, and also record low client and staff turnover rates. Stafford led a network of more than 250 employees across six offices in Greater China and oversaw many multi-national consumer, tech and corporate accounts including Hong Kong Disneyland, adidas, Qualcomm, Bank of America and Prudential. Stafford was also global client leader and the multi-agency lead for Huawei Consumer. In addition to his recent cabinet secretary appointment, Stafford has also served as director of policy in the office of the Australian Prime Minister.
“Cohn & Wolfe is a growth engine right now. What a success story,” says Stafford. “With multiple ‘Agency of the Year’ and ‘Best Place to Work’ wins, both clients and talent are gravitating toward the agency, and its momentum in Asia is a key part of this global success. I can’t wait to join Donna and her team during such an exciting time in Cohn & Wolfe’s evolution into an integrated communications powerhouse.”
In September 2015, Cohn & Wolfe acquired Six Degrees PR and Alphabet Consulting in India, and launched a new office in the burgeoning Guangzhou market in China a few months later.