Ogilvy fires global chief creative officer Tham Khai Meng after investigation found his behaviour was breach of company's values, code of conduct

Thumbnail image for Tham Khai Meng.jpg
Ogilvy has fired its worldwide chief creative officer Tham Khai Meng after an investigation concluded that his behaviour was a breach of the company's values and code of conduct.

According to an internal memo from John Seifert, Chief Executive, Ogilvy Worldwide:

Two weeks ago, I was informed of employee complaints regarding the behavior of Tham Khai Meng, Chief Creative Officer of The Ogilvy Group.

I found these complaints serious enough to appoint external legal counsel to investigate the matter.

After carefully reviewing the investigation's findings with several of my partners, we concluded that Khai's behavior was a clear breach of our company values and code of conduct. I have decided to terminate Khai's employment with the company with immediate effect.
Each year, we ask every employee in the company to read, authorize, and fully commit to a code of conduct that each of us is responsible for living up to. Over the past 70 years, we have institutionalized shared values and a standard of professional behavior unique to the Ogilvy brand.

This is an important moment to reaffirm that no individual in this company is too senior or too important not to be held accountable for their actions.

Thank you for your support.

John Seifert
Chief Executive, Worldwide

Tham Khai Meng's fall from grace is bound to shake the Ogilvy network, having led Ogilvy to Cannes Network of the Year in 2016, for a record fifth year in a row.

Tham Khai Meng.jpgKhai obtained a BA at Central Saint Martins, and an MA from The Royal College of Art, London. Khai made his first professional mark at Leo Burnett in London and Chicago, before heading to Singapore and progressing to Batey. While there, his work on Singapore Airlines catalyzed Batey's emergence as a regional leader.

In 2000, Khai served as Regional Creative Director and Co-Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather's Asia Pacific network. This culminated in a seven year run from 2001 to 2008 as Campaign Brief Asia's number one Network of the Year. Khai was awarded Creative Director of the Year for those seven straight years.

Khai joined Ogilvy & Mather's Worldwide Board in 2005, when Media magazine named him "Regional Head of the Year" in Asia Pacific. In 2009, Khai assumed the duties of Worldwide Creative Director and Chairman of the Worldwide Creative Council at Ogilvy & Mather's New York City headquarters.

Ogilvy_NetworkofYear_2014.jpgKhai's career building global brands has received honors from clients and every major award show around the world, including Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Clios, and London International Awards. He has also chaired the jury panels for these shows. Khai has served on numerous boards including his current appointment to Agencies in Action in New York, a nonprofit coalition working to alleviate hunger. He was asked by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to sit on his Economic Review Committee, a think tank tasked with finding a strategic direction for Singapore as it migrated from a manufacturing to knowledge-based economy. In December 2009, Khai accepted the President's Award, one of the country's most distinguished honors, conferred by Singapore President S. R. Nathan.

9 Comments

Brown Nose said:

Unbelievable!

CB writing a job hunting resume for a guy who's been fired.

Newsflash guys, his career is over!

Brown nose said:

Chill out mate. Hardly a job hunting resume. Read the bloody headline. I'm no fan, but I’m certain Khai Meng doesn’t need to work again.

R.K. said:

Why no mention here about the Ted Royer story???

Lee said:

Khai and his team have been working 24/hr damage control on all the trade publications in Aus/Asia. What he can't do in New York he is trying to sway here in Aus/Asia with Straits Times (His brother Khai War used to run it for decades.) And here on Campaign Brief too judging from the read above.

The PR strat is to fan the flames of his past glory. His all important CV and Bio reads exactly the same.

Khai had this coming people. He treated people so badly at Ogilvy for so many years. He abused people and his position. He is now an arrogant old man who thinks he is above the law and the agency. Does anybody need to remind him, his work at Cannes was fake. His awards fake.

Anyway, let's put this Diva's head on a stick to warn the other preditors and let's move on. He's no longer worth our time. There is no need to be scared anymore Ogilvy friends. There is more to life than awards and advertising. We all knew better.

Red foo said:

WPP should keep looking through their ranks- plenty more brown nose creative big dogs in positions of power who should be shown the door for apalling behavior.

Ghostwriter said:

Since he loves quoting others: 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice' MLK

Me Two said:

Time to rewrite another popular quote:

Justice delayed is still justice....lol

Ermm said:

Will this be the end of the “scam” legacy in Ogilvy?

Small Town Boy said:

What about the rumours? Somebody say something.

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