New York and Singapore, October 18, 2022 — Edelman has named Warren Fernandez chief executive officer of the firm’s Asia Pacific region, effective October 25, 2022. Fernandez, who was most recently editor of The Straits Times, Singapore’s most prominent English news title, will oversee the region’s 21 offices and more than 1,300 employees. Based in Singapore, Fernandez will join the firm’s global Executive Leadership Team and report to global president and chief operating officer Matthew Harrington. He replaces Stephen Kehoe, who left Edelman in June. Dave Samson, global vice chairman of corporate affairs, has served as interim CEO since Kehoe’s departure.
“Warren’s deep understanding of the news and media ecosystem – and his experience transforming a news outlet into an integrated multi-media content platform – will be a tremendous value-add to clients and our own insights and capabilities,” said Harrington. “Additionally, our organization will benefit from Warren’s longstanding professional and academic interest in politics and foreign policy amid today’s dynamic geopolitical landscape.”
Fernandez joins from English/Malay/Tamil Media Group in SPH Media, where he was the editor-in-chief. He simultaneously served as the editor of The Straits Times. He joined The Straits Times as a political reporter in 1990 and would go on to serve as news editor as well as foreign editor and deputy editor. In 2008, Fernandez left to join Royal Dutch Shell as a global manager for its Future Energy project, working with its scenario planning and communications teams in London and the Hague. He returned to the paper in 2012 as its senior-most editor.
“Asia is one of the most important markets to Edelman’s future,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. “We have purposely built a communications advisory firm to help Asian companies step onto the global stage, while also supporting other companies as they seek to expand into the diverse markets of Asia. Our ability to help companies navigate the complexities across this vast and dynamic region have never been more critical to businesses and we are the right firm to help them succeed in doing so."
Edelman’s APAC region continues to be recognized for its impactful earned-centric work. The firm has continued to bolster its capabilities in strategy, creative, digital and insights in the region, leading to it being the most awarded firm at Campaign’s Agency of the Year awards and most recently taking home six awards from the 2022 Sabre Awards, including the Platinum Sabre Award for Best in Show for #LetHerGrow with Dove. It was also named Provoke Media’s Digital Consultancy of the Year and Singapore’s 6th Hottest Creative Agencies by Campaign Brief Asia. In FY21, the APAC region grew 7.4 percent. Earlier this year, Edelman also expanded its Edelman Global Advisory presence and launched UEG and Edelman Smithfield in APAC.
“I’m very excited to join a firm that I have admired and worked with, as a client and partner, over the years,” said Fernandez. “Edelman continues to drive the conversation on Trust and shape the future of the communications industry. I believe there is enormous potential to continue to expand upon the vital thought leadership, as well as media, brand and strategic communications advice we provide to our clients. I look forward to leading the team in Asia Pacific and working with the industry-leading talent across its global network.”
Fernandez’s hiring follows several additions to the APAC leadership group including Pully Chau, Greater China president; Julia Wei, CEO of Edelman Singapore; Tom Robinson, CEO of Edelman Australia; Ashish Pathak, executive creative director of Edelman India; Jamshed Wadia, vice chair of Digital and Jason Leow, vice chair of Edelman Smithfield.
Currently, Fernandez is president of World Editors Forum (WEF), which is the leading global network for print and digital editors of news organizations around the world. He is a member of numerous boards including the Singapore Press Holdings (Overseas), SPH (Americas) Pte, Heritage Media Pte, Asia News Network (ANN), Singapore Symphony Group (SSO), National Arts Council and Chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Fernandez previously served on the Boards of the National Parks and National Environment Agency. He also served a term as the president of the Institute of Public Relations Singapore in 2009.
Fernandez is a graduate of Trinity College, Oxford University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.