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Today is a sad day for W+K and for me because the tallest man in China – and our MD – Kel Hook, leaves us.
Kel has been at W+K Shanghai since before it officially started – way back in 2005 – and has been pivotal in leading the company ever since, first as planning director and then as our managing director.
However, after 12 years of China craziness and 6 years of W+K highs, lows, magical madness and all manner of mayhem, he’s decided to move on … starting off, as you do, with a 3 month holiday in Costa Rica.
It’s an exciting time for him – especially as he just got married – however on a personal note, I’m very sad to see him go.
I’ve known Kel for about 5 years and he was – along with Nick Barham – instrumental in getting me to join the Wieden gang and for that I will always be eternally grateful for his faith, support, encouragement and – let’s face it – patience, ha!
Saying that, I don’t mind admitting that I will feel a hell of a lot safer going on business trips, because he had an amazing ability to ensure any trip with him was liberally infused with weirdness, danger, delayed/cancelled flights and immigration issues.
That aside, he’s a top man [for an Australian] who genuinely gives a shit about people, so as much as we’re all very happy and excited that the wonderful Jason White is returning to Shanghai to take over as MD after his time running NIKE globally, it’s still a sad day for us all … so to Kel, thank you for everything you’ve done both personally and professionally and you can consider yourself one of the pioneers of bringing genuine commercial creativity to the land of commercial communism.
Have a blast.
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