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Tham Khai Meng

Worldwide Chief Creative Officer / Ogilvy & Mather


Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather, made history by leading the agency to win Network of the Year at Cannes three times in a row in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The agency's 2013 win came in the same year that client Coca-Cola was named Creative Marketer of the Year at Cannes and was accompanied by a record-shattering haul of 155 Lions, including 4 Grand Prix.

AdAge has called Khai 'One of the world's most influential people in the communication business.'

Khai's story began at Central St Martins in London where he graduated with a BA First Class honors. This led to a scholarship to pursue an MA in Film at the Royal College of Art in London.

Upon completing his studies, Khai went into advertising and revealed an early aptitude for big brand work, first at Leo Burnett London and then Chicago; and later in Singapore with stints at McCann Erickson and Bateys. He joined O&M in 2000 as Regional Creative Director of Asia Pacific and led them to win the Agency of the Year title for eight straight years. Following this, Khai took on the additional role of Co-Chairman Asia Pacific. He was also inducted into the Campaign Brief Hall of Fame during this time.

In 2009, Khai moved to New York to assume the role of Worldwide Chief Creative Officer. He now oversees the work of the entire O&M worldwide network, including all of its global offices.

One of his first moves was to inculcate 'Pervasive Creativity' throughout the company, a concept he originated where everyone in the organization, regardless of title, has the responsibility to be creative.

As one of the most highly-awarded creative directors of his generation, Khai has served on numerous juries. He was President of both the Film and Press juries at Cannes in 2012 and has chaired juries at D&AD, One Show, the Clios, and London International Advertising.

A frequent speaker within the industry and beyond, Khai has spoken at the World Economic Forum, and taught master classes at St. Martins and Royal College of Art in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

He is a member of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Board and Executive Committee, and is Chairman of its Worldwide Creative Council. Khai also serves on the board of directors at Miami Ad School, Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Future of Storytelling New York. He recently became involved in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

After a lifetime of fighting fires (and starting a few too) Khai now lives in a historical 19th Century firehouse in New York City, a building that was once home to another ambitious creative when he first arrived in the city: Andy Warhol.


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