Johan Shabudin has been taken the role of managing director at J. Walter Thompson Jakarta, stepping into the long time position held by CEO DD ‘Lulut’ Asmoro, who has announced that he will retire later this year.
According to the release:
“Lulut has been a charismatic leader of the agency for such a long time, a passionate advocate of good creative work and an ambassador for the industry at large. We will truly miss him as a friend and colleague,” said Bob Hekkelman, J. Walter Thompson’s Southeast Asia CEO.
“We have been planning for this transition for some time, and Johan is primed and ready to take the agency through its next evolution. He has deep, wide experience across multiple markets with our network, he has earned the trust of our clients and staff in Jakarta and knows what it takes to lead an agency into the new area of ideas and technology.”
Asmoro is one of Indonesia’s advertising sector’s best-known personalities. A drummer and a DJ in his high school and college years, Asmoro studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Indonesia – then decided to go into advertising. He worked a McCann Erickson, and Lowe Lintas in Jakarta and Cairo. He joined J. Walter Thompson in Jakarta in 2004 as Chief Operations Officer, and assumed leadership of the agency in 2005 – becoming the first Indonesian to head up a multinational advertising agency in this large, fast-growing Next 11 market. Asmoro ably navigated the troubled economic waters that rocked Indonesia during the Global Financial Crisis, doubling the agency’s revenue between 2009 and 2014.
Under his watch, J. Walter Thompson Jakarta brought home Indonesia’s first ever medals from Cannes Lions, the Clio Awards, AdFest and Spikes Asia, and was named Campaign Brief’s Indonesian Agency of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2014. The agency was also named Agency of the Year by Citra Pariwara, Indonesia’s biggest advertising festival, in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2015.
Asmoro worked hard to promote the growth and development of the industry in Indonesia. He is a long-standing member of Indonesian 4As (PPPI), and as part of his role in that organization served as chairman of Citra Pariwara from 2012 to 2015. Asmoro also served as a mentor to many in the industry, and did stints as a guest lecturer at several of Indonesia’s top universities. Asmoro plans to continue to lecture, and to pursue a long-standing sideline of designing and rebuilding homes, in his retirement. After leaving the agency at the end of the year, he will continue to consult with the agency from time to time, while concentrating on his property venture.
“It’s been an incredibly wild ride, and I’m proud of what the agency, and all the people who’ve been part of the J. Walter Thompson Jakarta family, have accomplished over the years,” says Asmoro. “In an industry like ours that’s going through rapid change and where people are the core asset, it is crucial for an agency head to come with a fresh new perspective – and be able to rally the team towards it. And no one fits the bill better than Johan. He’s a great people person with strong multi-market experience. I know I’m leaving the agency in very capable hands.”
Shabudin, who has a diploma in Hospitality Management from Les Roches, Switzerland, began his career as a hotelier and club manager. He joined J. Walter Thompson in Kuala Lumpur in 1995 as an account manager, and in 1998 became a Regional Account Director. In 2000, he moved to J. Walter Thompson Tokyo, where he worked for seven years as a Business Director. In 2007, he joined Y&R in Indonesia.
Shabudin later decided to switch careers, after several years of working on side passion-projects in design. In 2012, he became Managing Partner of Ai Associates Indonesia, an architecture and interior design firm headquartered in Singapore. He returned to advertising in November 2013, re-joining J. Walter Thompson in Jakarta as Chief Account Officer. Over his career, he has worked on a wide range of accounts, including Kit Kat, Merrill Lynch, Haagen-Dazs, Diageo, J&J, Nestle Ice Cream, Shell, Ford, LG Electronics, Danone Aqua, Siemens Mobile Devices, Kraft Foods and HSBC.
“I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn and be inspired by Lulut. He is a real legend in our industry. I’m also very much inspired by the attitude, talent and capabilities of our family at JWT Jakarta,” said Shabudin. “I’m a strong believer in collaboration, perseverance, and stepping out of my comfort zone. These will all be core to where we, as a team, are headed, and how we’re going to get there.”