Dole Sunshine Co.’s Rupen Desai appointed WFA Regional VP and chair of the Asia Advisory Board
Share this post
Rupen Desai, Chief Marketing Officer at the Dole Sunshine Company, has been named as the new WFA Regional Vice-President for APAC and chair of WFA’s Asia Advisory Board, replacing outgoing Unilever VP of Global Media, David Porter, who has retired from the role but will continue to support WFA in an advisory capacity.
Launched in 2020, the board helps determine the direction for WFA’s work in the region and identify key global issues that require regional application, as well as provide a platform for companies to share best practice and progress made with common challenges. Members include:
- Pratik Thakar, Asia Chair, WFA CMO Forum, and Head of Global Creative Strategy & Content, Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company;
- Silas Lewis-Meilus, Asia Chair, WFA Media Forum, and Global Head of Media Business Units, GSK;
- Shyam Balasubramanian, Head of Brands, Castrol;
- Edward Bell, General Manager Brand, Insights & Marketing Communications, Cathay Pacific;
- Juliana Chu, Vice President of Digital & Ecommerce, Asia Pacific, Shiseido;
- Juan Hoyos, Global Marketing, Division General Manager – Brand and Engagement, Nissan;
- Josephine Tan, Global Technology - Solution Services Director, Digital/Mobile, McDonald's; and
- Amanda Woo, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia SuperApp.
As Regional VP, Desai’s role will be to identify the key issues being raised by WFA members and national associations across APAC and lead the drive for change at a national level and, when dealing with media owners that cover multiple markets, at a regional and global level.
He will work closely with the WFA team and members of its Asia Advisory Board, which also includes representatives of AirAsia, Castrol, Cathay Pacific, GSK, McDonald’s, Nissan, Shiseido and The Coca-Cola Company, to push for changes that enable regional and global brands to deliver effective and efficient investments in marketing across the region.
Desai took over as Global CMO for Dole Sunshine Company in April 2019 and drives the Purpose-driven transformation for the company. He is also the co-founder at The Shed 28 (TS/28) which partners companies to build brands their conscience can live with. He was one of seven regional and global marketers who were shortlisted for the WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year Award in 2021.
Prior to Dole, he was Edelman’s executive vice-chairman across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
In his new WFA position, he will be one of five regional Vice-Presidents, a structure that ensures the unique challenges of each part of the world are addressed and tackled, while also providing examples of best practice from their region.
Previous WFA Asia-Pacific VPs include both David Porter, who has held the position since February 2020, and Sameer Desai, currently VP, Marketing for Asia at Align Technology.
“Our regional VPs are our eyes and ears on the ground and help us understand how geography impacts on the challenges facing marketing and advertising. Rupen will bring great insight about APAC’s unique media ecosystems as well as making a valuable contribution to our peer-to-peer best practice sessions, sharing ideas and approaches in critical areas such as purpose and sustainability,” said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO. “I would also like to pay tribute to David Porter, who has contributed so much to the WFA as both Regional VP for APAC and also as APAC Chair for WFA’s Media Forum.”
“David has built great momentum for the WFA and I hope to build on this further. Marketers have a significant role to play as we grow and scale brands and businesses. This can’t come at the cost of our planet or build further inequalities in society or the world we live in. I look forward to working with all the partners at the WFA to help find systemic answers to some of marketing’s toughest challenges,” said Rupen Desai, CMO, Dole Sunshine Company.
“It is terrific news that Rupen is stepping into this role. He brings brand and agency experience as well as high energy and a peerless commitment to diversity and purpose. I know he will continue to drive positive change in the region and will continue to remind colleagues elsewhere that APAC is ‘most of world’, rather than ‘rest of world’. I wish Rupen and the WFA every success in the future,” said the outgoing WFA Vice-President,David Porter.