Marketing performance meets rare prestige

This piece was first Published in MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 347

Now in its fifth year, the Malaysia Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Awards is the finest statement of excellence for brave, bold and path-breaking marketers. 

No other award brings true significance to the amazing work done by marketers in the face of overwhelming odds in a market where consumers demand differentiation. 

Taming technology to advantage, diving into data for meaningful connections and demonstrating the kind of leadership that moves brands, marketers deserve their place in the sun too. 

These crème de la crème awards are a befitting pedestal to their amazing drive and awesomeness. Less than 35 awards are given out every year and we also have a special section for Young Rising Marketing Stars in the business which is free to enter. 

Our mission is to identify and recognise talent, transparency and tenacity in the industry. 

A CMO is also defined as the GM of Marketing, A&P, Marketing Director, Group Marketing Director or simply a leader in a company’s marketing quest for excellence. 

The Malaysian Chief Marketing Officers Awards is judged exclusively by CEOs and respected heads of companies and industries. Our eminent panel of judges is second to none. They decide the winners following performance-based criteria like real results, team leadership, case studies, peer recognition, business thinking, marketing acumen and managerial success.

Prof. John D Chacko, President International Advertising Association (IAA) Malaysia Chairman, 45th IAA World Congress 2024, Penang.

John is not just an industry leader here, but actively carries our country’s flag proudly around the globe in his capacity as Chairman of the IAA World Congress in 2023. 

He was also the inaugural Chief Judge of the Malaysia Effie Awards and has led the CMO Awards jury since its inaugural year. John has over 35 years of global experience in multinational FMCG companies across Australia, NZ, UK, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia with brands like Kraft, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. 

He was also Group CMO, CEO/MD of Khazanah National subsidiaries, Proton and LeapED.

Greg Paull, Principal & Co-Founder R3 Worldwide

Greg heads R3 – a global consultancy focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of marketers and their agencies. 

They enable clients to get the competitive edge and a better return on investment from agencies, media and marketing spend. 

With over 100 people in the US, Asia, EMEA and LATAM, R3 works with nine of the world’s top twenty marketers including Coca-Cola, Unilever, AB InBev, MasterCard, Mercedes Benz, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung and Kimberly Clark. 

Dato’ Sri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly, Group Managing Director Boustead Holdings Berhad

A brand warrior par excellence he has led so many companies in the regional corporate landscape. 

He had the mind of a creative person and the tenacity of a brand champion, having painted a rich tapestry of leadership across media, broadcast, brand, advertising, marketing and industry. 

His last company position was Group CEO of Telekom Malaysia and served on several boards including Axiata, Celcom and Malaysia Airlines. 

He was also a judge at the inaugural Malaysian CMO Awards.

Santharuban T. Sundaram, Chief Executive Officer, Etika Holdings

Ruban is a shining example of a marketing leader who now leads a group of companies. He also has the distinction of winning the first Malaysian CMO of the Year Award five years ago in shining glory. He is the CEO at Etika Holdings, a unit under Asahi Group Companies, overseeing the Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei markets. He remains CEO of ATLAS Vending. He was previously Etika’s senior vice president marketing and alternate business but took on the role of CEO.

ATLAS has since worked with brands including SC Johnson, Pepsi, Tropicana, and FWD Takaful. Before that, he was VP of marketing, as well as Group GM at Etika. He also worked at Celcom Axiata as head of communications and planning, group digital services. 

Caryn Loh, Managing Director Watsons Malaysia

A dynamic leader with strong interpersonal, commercial skill and business acumen that led to the strong profitable and sustainable growth. Attained market leading positioning (Watson’s became No. 1 Omnichannel retailer, No.1 in brand equity, No. 1 in market share growth and No. 1 top of mind brand in Malaysia) and company recognized results as key strategist, contributor, and decision maker in the organization to deliver and exceed the company goals and objectives. 

Accomplished the restructuring and change management in place resulting in increased sales, profitability and reduction of cost.

Renzo C Viegas, Founder & Executive Director Crescer Sdn Bhd

Renzo held senior positions in various Asia Pacific countries including regional responsibilities until year 2008. His last held position was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Citibank Malaysia. 

He was also CEO of Group Consumer Banking at CIMB after serving as Executive Director and Deputy CEO of CIMB Group from 2012-2015. Before CIMB, he was Deputy MD of RHB Bank having started his working career with Citibank in 1985 where he progressively held senior positions across Asia Pacific.

He also served as Adviser to the Group CEO of CIMB Bank, where he was responsible for the development of overall business strategies until March 2019.

Dato’ William Ng, Founder & Group Publisher, Business Media International Chairman, Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (SAMENTA)

William is a writer and publisher par excellence and he set up the Enterprise Asia Center for Entrepreneurship at HELP University to promote business leadership. He is also Group Publisher and editor-in-chief of Business Media International, Southeast Asia’s largest business-to-business media owner and publisher. A regular CMO Awards judge since year one, William dissects marketing strategies and marketplace successes with a pragmatic business mindset. He is also managing director of SGX-listed Audience Analytics Limited. For over 20 years, he championed SMEs in various capacities and now chairs SAMENTA.

Dato’ Samson Anand George, COO & Director KIA Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Dato’ Samson Anand George is COO & Director of KIA Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the official distributor of KIA vehicles in Malaysia. Dato’ was previously Group Chief Executive Officer of the Automotive Group, Naza Corporation Holdings. 

A true veteran of the automotive industry, he has been conferred the Ordre National du Mérite by the French government, underlining his contributions to the French nation through the automotive industry. 

He rose from a General Manager to Naza Group CEO for Automotive Division and was Automotive Man of the Year 2012. Dato’ was instrumental in bringing Peugeot and Citroën to Malaysia. 

Karen Chan, Group Chief Commercial Officer, AirAsia Independent Non-Executive Director, QSR Brands

Karen is a rare business navigator in our midst. She served in regional marketing leadership roles for The McDonald’s Group and CocaCola, before becoming Chief Digital Officer for Pizza Hut Asia Pacific for almost three years. 

Karen was also Senior VP of Digital for Clarks across Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa before joining AirAsia as Group Chief Commercial Officer last year. 

She was also CEO of, leading business transformation and creating a travel and lifestyle platform that is poised to change the face of the business. 

Jeffrey Seah, Partner, Quest Ventures Vice Chairman, HEPMIL Media Group

Jeff focuses on the development of the Data, Tech, Media and Content industries. An ex advertising and media leader, he worked with Asia business organizations/ MNCs, Venture Builders/ Private Equity/Family Offices/Sovereign Funds, Corporate M&A units, StartUps and Individuals to realize the potential of people and their ideas, investments and businesses. 

His current projects cover Industry Development facilitation, commercial Go-ToMarket advisory and Digital Transformation/Corporate Reorganization implementation in Asia Pacific and Middle East markets.


Deserving marketers enter every year and win consistently every year, displaying admirable consistency in their marketing prowess. 

Every show is a reflection of the year that passed, and the coming event is about the year 2022. 

Organisers are also considering an interview session as part of the judging process this time.

We have watched the career progression of our winners and are very proud of their successes. Some have been entrusted with larger responsibilities in their companies, some have been given regional footprints, some are now in their dream job leading business performance through brand imaging, diversification, digital transformation, etc., and some are even running companies now.

Santharuban T. Sundaram (CMO of the Year 2018) VP, Marketing, Etika Holdings CEO – Etika Group of Companies
Eugene Lee (CMO of the Year 2018) Marketing Director, McDonald’s Malaysia Regional CMO (Asia), McDonald’s
Andrew Pinto (2018, 2019, 2020) Head of Marketing, Head of Brand & Marketing, TM Group
Chayenne Tan (2018) VP (Growth Marketing), CIMB Malaysia Head of Sustainable Finance (Consumer Banking), CIMB Group
Linda Hassan (2018, 2020) SVP, Marketing, Domino’s Pizza (Malaysia & Singapore) Group CMO, Domino’s Pizza (Malaysia, Singapore & Cambodia)
Shiv Sahgal (2018) Marketing Director – Foods & Refreshment, Unilever Malaysia General Manager – Home Care, Unilever Indonesia
Zaid Hasman (2018) Director of Digital, McDonald’s Malaysia Chief Technology Officer, McDonald’s Malaysia
Datuk Lai Shu Wei (CMO of the Year 2019) VP, unifi Marketing & Communications Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Sime Darby Property Berhad
Emily Chong (2019) Deputy GM Marketing, Pizza Hut Malaysia CMO Pizza Hut Malaysia
Moharmustaqeem Mohammed (2019) EVP, unifi CEO, TM Net
Angelina Villanueva (CMO of the Year 2020) CMO, KFC Malaysia Marketing Director, KFC Asia
Andrew Yeoh (2020) Head of Marketing & Innovation, IKEA SEA Head Of Marketing, TIME dotCom Berhad
Nizam Sani (2018, 2020) Senior VP, Marketing & Communications, Bank Rakyat Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Bank Rakyat
Schrene Goh (2020) EVP Marketing, Pos Malaysia Chief Marketing Officer – Lazada

Closing Date for all nominations is October 26, so start collating your nomination info now. Maybe agencies have a marketer-client or two they feel should be nominated. 

Click here to enter.

CONFIDENTIALTY CLAUSE: All nominations and their contents are accepted in the strictest of confidence, judges also sign an NDA before judging. All non-winners are never revealed to anyone. 


Best Marketer in B2B Marketing 

This category recognises the marketer who has transformed a space where marketing is usually considered as ‘boring’ to one that is creative and generates positive ROI. 

Best Marketer in SME Marketing

Limited budgets and resources are not a deterrent for our marketer in this category. This category recognises the marketer who has grown their brand in the ever evolving SME landscape. 

Best Marketer in Omni-Channel Marketing 

This category recognises the marketer who understands all touch points and has effectively created a seamless Omni-channel marketing customer journey for his or her brand. 

Best Marketer in Millennial Marketing 

It is not easy to understand today’s TikTok generation but the Marketer who will take home this award knows exactly what makes Millennials tick.

Best Marketer in e-Commerce Marketing 

This category recognises the seasoned e-commerce marketer who has successfully generated profitable interest for their e-commerce brand in a borderless world. 

Best Marketer in Travel & Hospitality Marketing 

The travel industry today is more than a glossy ad in a magazine. This category recognises the marketer who understands the travel industry and has produced cutting edge, multi-platform campaigns to inspire today’s travellers. 

Best Marketer in Sustainable Brand Marketing 

This award pays tribute to the marketer who understands and demonstrates the role of brands in pursuit of the definition of a fair and sustainable future. For taking conscious steps to maintain the environmental, social, and economic balance for our present and future generations.  

Best Marketer in Education & Training Marketing 

This category applauds the marketer who has raised the bar in today’s education and training industry with messages that inspire today’s learners to empower their careers with the right education and direction. 

Best Marketer in Media & Content Partnership Marketing 

This category accolades the marketer who has utilized the powerful tools of media and content in their campaign executions through smart and valuable partnerships. 

Best Marketer in Customer Experience Marketing 

The essence of good marketing lies in how you make your customer feel. This category recognises a marketer who understands this golden rule and has implemented the right strategies to give their customers the best experience. 

Best Marketer in Event & Experiential Marketing 

This category recognises a marketer who blends experiential marketing with campaign success. Including landmark events, memorable experiential campaigns with strong ROI results. 

Best Marketer in Retail & Promotions Marketing 

This category recognises a marketer whose sound insight in the retail industry has led to the success of their retail brands while harnessing the power of online retail. 

Best Marketer in Festive Communications Marketing 

There is nothing that pulls the heartstrings like a Malaysian festive ad. This category recognises a marketer who has been able to make a lasting impact for their brand through their festive ad campaign. 

Best Marketer in Data & Technology Marketing 

This category recognises a marketer who is driven by data and unafraid of exploring new technologies to power their campaigns.

Best Marketer in Loyalty & Engagement Marketing 

Today’s consumers are able to choose between one brand from another in a heartbeat thanks to the rapid evolution of technology. This category recognises a marketer who is able to capture brand loyalty with today’s fickle consumer using path-breaking strategies. 

Best Marketer in Influencer Marketing 

KOLs have quickly become an important, sometimes necessary platform for almost every marketing campaign. This category recognises the marketer who has creatively engaged with influencers in campaigns and leveraged their power to produce results. 

Best Marketer in Social Media Marketing 

This category recognises the marketer who has been consistent in driving buzz-worthy campaigns on social media. While achieving results that defy the norm. 

Best Marketer in Mobile Marketing 

Today’s consumers are able to choose between one brand from another in a heartbeat thanks to the rapid evolution of technology. This category recognises a marketer who is able to capture brand loyalty with today’s fickle consumer using innovative mobile-first strategies. 

Marketing Trailblazer Awards 

The award will be bestowed on marketers who are never afraid to push the boundaries of innovation within their category. The award will go to the marketer who made a difference with fresh thinking and breakthrough work. 

  • Marketing Trailblazer – Telco 
  • Marketing Trailblazer – Financial Services 
  • Marketing Trailblazer – F&B • Marketing Trailblazer – Digital 
  • Marketing Trailblazer – FMCG • Marketing Trailblazer – Media & Entertainment 

To view 2021 Winners, Click here

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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