Western is losing Lawrence Janes, its marketing and business development director, to its sister agency in Bangkok, Initiative Media Thailand.
Janes, who joined Western last year from Carat, will take over as the managing director of Initiative in Thailand, which was launched earlier this month out of the in-house media department of Lowe Lintas in Bangkok.
The agency has billings of dollars 700 million and a staff of 100 and is one of Initiative's largest offices outside the US. The client roster includes Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle and is Thailand's biggest media specialist.
Janes said his promotion followed the improved fortunes for Western in London over the past two years. Western's billings have risen from pounds 135 million in 1997 to pounds 167 million by the end of last year.
At Initiative Thailand, Janes will be responsible for driving forward a more strategic approach and introducing some best practices from Europe.
He said: 'It is my intention to try to enhance the local strengths for planning and buying with some of the expertise we have in Europe.'
Janes is not expected to leave London until the new year, though over the next few months he is likely to help in some pre-pitch preparations for Unilever's media review in Thailand.
The actual review is scheduled for next spring.