Tan joined JWT in Taipei and returned to Singapore five years ago. He was promoted to South-East Asia executive creative director in 2002.
Jeffrey Yu, the president of Bates/141 Asia, has been looking for a creative director to take responsibility for the region for some time. Tan's immediate focus will be on China, although he is expected to work with Yu on regional business.
"I am happy with the people I've been working with, but I wanted a bigger challenge," Tan said.