Tim Castree, Global CEO of MEC and GroupM’s ‘NewCo’ today announced that Michelle Achuthan, Managing Director of MEC Malaysia will take on the role of MD of the new combined MEC and Maxus 'NewCo' agency in Malaysia when it launches in January 2018.

Michelle has been MEC MD since November 2015. She was previously MD of BBDO Malaysia for 4 ½ years and is a 27-year veteran of the advertising industry, having also worked with other leading agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and J. Walter Thompson.

The ‘NewCo’ MD role becomes effective in January 2018.

Tim Castree, CEO of MEC and NewCo commented: “We’re merging Maxus and MEC to form a brand new billion dollar revenue media content and technology agency, dubbed ‘NewCo’ for now. With such ambition, comes a need for brilliant talent to lead and inspire, and so today’s news is very exciting for us. Under Michelle’s leadership, I am confident that we have the right team in place to truly blend the best of MEC and Maxus and make NewCo Malaysia a formidable future-facing agency.”

Michelle Achuthan started off in the ad industry as a copywriter in 1990 and then shifted tracks to account management, with Malaysia Airlines as her first major client at Bates. From 1994, she spent five years at J. Walter Thompson, working on the agency’s stable of global clients like De Beers, Kraft and Ford. Moving to Saatchi & Saatchi in 1999, Achuthan led a team responsible for new business development and managing regional accounts like P&G. In 2003, Achuthan began a 12-year journey with BBDO. During this time, BBDO excelled at the Malaysian Kancil Awards including winning ‘best of show’ two years running as well as winning the 2014 Agency of the Year title. Achuthan was appointed Managing Director of BBDO in 2011 and held the position for 4 ½ years before moving over to the media industry, joining MEC in late 2015. Jumping into a new world of numbers and technology, Achuthan has been managing her clients’ rapid migration of investments into digital, specifically in the areas of programmatic media and online content. She is a natural leader, focusing on talent development internally and business growth for her clients. Achuthan is a certified professional coach and the mother of four children, ranging in age from toddler to teen.