Tham Khai Meng is one of the world's most awarded creative directors. He recently made history by leading Ogilvy & Mather to win Network of the Year at Cannes four times in a row in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
AdAge has aptly called Khai 'One of the world's most influential people in the communication business.'
Khai's story began at Central St Martins in London where he studied design and art history and was awarded a scholarship to pursue an MA in Film at the Royal College of Art. Upon completing his studies, Khai went into advertising first at Leo Burnett London and then Chicago; and later in Singapore with stints at McCann Erickson and Bateys. He joined O&M in 2000 as Regional Creative Director of Asia Pacific where he led them to win Agency of the Year for eight straight years. During this time he was inducted into the Campaign Brief Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Khai moved to New York to assume the position of Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, a role that has him overseeing the work of the entire O&M global network of more than 500 offices.
One of his first moves as Worldwide CCO was to inculcate 'Pervasive Creativity' throughout the company, a concept he originated where everyone in the organization, regardless of title, has the responsibility to be creative. Khai's persistence on Pervasive Creativity has been credited for the agency's four consecutive Network of the Year wins at Cannes.
Recognizing that great work is what underpins the agency and Khai's role in pushing the agency to consistently produce great work, Khai was appointed Co-Chairman of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Board in January 2016. He is also Chairman of its Worldwide Creative Council.
Khai is as active in his pursuits and interests outside of his work. He has served on numerous advertising juries and is a frequent speaker within the industry and beyond. He has spoken at the World Economic Forum, and taught master classes at Miami Ad School, Berlin University, St. Martins and the Royal College of Art in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and he is also a contributing writer for The Guardian, Campaign and Forbes.
Khai serves on the board of directors at Miami Ad School, Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Future of Storytelling New York. He recently became involved in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
After a lifetime of fighting fires at work (and starting a few too) Khai coincidentally lives in a converted 19th Century firehouse in New York City.
Recent writings and interviews
The Guardian - Everyone is born creative, but it is educated out of us at school
- May 18, 2016
Forbes - In Praise Of Advertising's Trojan Horses
- March 23, 2016
Campaign US - My career in 5 executions
- March 10, 2016
Campaign US - On creativity in Asia
- November 23, 2015
Campaign US - In Nepal, a camera yields a lifelong lesson
- October 05, 2015
Adweek - The limitless era of creativity
- September 30, 2015
Campaign UK - Brave new world of VR
- July 28, 2015
Campaign UK - Cannes perspective
- June 26, 2015
Contagious - Work that wins hearts
- June 8, 2015
The Guardian - Does winning a Cannes Lion still matter?
- June 1, 2015
Campaign UK - Storytelling: the plot quickens
- March 26, 2015
Campagin US - LGBT culture and the mainstreaming of inclusion
- March 12, 2015
India Times - What broke advertising?
- January 7, 2015
Campaign US - The heart is just a pump
- December 12, 2014