It is not often that we find an Innovator who has taken on the same role in the same company; however, lightning really can strike twice.
In 2006, a year after TBWA and Hakuhodo agreed to establish a new joint venture company, The Internationalist named President & CEO Hiroshi Ochiai an Innovator in 2007. Interestingly, Ochiai-san handed the reins of leadership to his Vice President, Ichiro Zama, in 2009. And now we are also honoring Zama-san as an Innovator. His ability to deliver growth amid hardship and his efforts to foster innovation, high spirits and cross-cultural leadership are second to none.
As president and CEO of TBWA\HAKUHODO in Japan, Ichiro Zama manages five divisions within the agency and the head of each division reports through him. Working with chief operating officer Luis DeAnda, Zama has strived to turn the agency into the most innovative company in Japan, with the aim of expanding the business arena beyond an ad agency. Since being appointed as CEO in 2009, Zama has achieved continuous growth of 10 per cent year-on-year. Despite the earthquake and tsunami disaster which took place in March 2011, revenue exceeded 10 per cent from its original business plan for the period of 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.
Under Zama’s leadership, TBWA\HAKUHODO won 16 new assignments during the period 1 November 2010 to 31 October 2011, and added four new clients: Ikea, American Home Assurance, Tourism Australia and Henkel. The numbers show his achievement clearly: an increase in organic growth of 15 per cent in billings, and nine per cent in revenue.
Zama has also pushed change within the TBWA and Hakuhodo styles to become more cross-department and cross-functional and to accelerate the integration of people with different backgrounds. Having worked at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY in Los Angeles, Zama understands the importance of accepting diverse culture and embracing different values and in merging the two different agency cultures, TBWA\HAKUHODO has succeeded where numerous other joint-venture agencies failed.