SEOUL — Zeno has hired Margaret Key to lead its Asia-Pacific presence after the former Burson-Marsteller regional CEO took on an Axicom role when Burson merged with Cohn & Wolfe.

Key, who led Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific for almost three years, departs the WPP firm after almost eight years in total. Cohn & Wolfe regional head Matt Stafford took on Asia-Pacific leadership of Burson Cohn & Wolfe after the merger two months ago, leaving Key to oversee tech subsidiary Axicom. 

Key takes on the newly-created CEO role following the exit of Zeno Asia MD John Kerr to sister agency Edelman at the start of this year. She rejoins DJE after spending nearly a decade with Edelman, rising to the role of Japan/Korea head, before leaving in 2010.

Key joins Zeno’s global leadership team and will oversee a staff of 135 professionals across Zeno offices in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. She told the Holmes Report that the midsize agency has ambitious expansion plans for the region, where it currently lacks a presence in China.

"The ambition in Asia includes expanding and growing," said Key. "And obviously China is important — that would be a key part."

Key remains based in Seoul, where she has spent the bulk of her career. "It’s also a welcome return for me to the Daniel J. Edelman family, where my career first began," she said.

"In addition to her deft leadership skills, Margaret understands the balance of local experience and global strategy," added Zeno global CEO Barby Siegel, to whom Key reports. "This is especially important as more and more of our clients look to us for an integrated Asia solution."