Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
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Suite Talk: Robert Woolfrey, Millennial Media

Talent management skills are integral not only for the aspiring HR professional, but also for any CEO willing to lead an organisation effectively. Akankasha Dewan talks to Robert Woolfrey, managing director of Millennial Media APAC, on what HR needs to do to get a seat in the boardroom.

How did you get to where you are today with Millennial Media?

I have always believed in pushing one’s own limits to achieve more in life and business. Let me explain.

Two years ago, I was Millennial Media’s first employee in Asia Pacific. While I was originally hired to cover Southeast Asia and build the team here, whenever I saw an opportunity to push the limits, enter other markets like Australia or India, I took it. Earlier this year, I accepted the role of managing director for all of Asia Pacific, including Japan.

In addition to pushing your limits, success is also achieved with the support and teamwork of your colleagues. I’m very thankful that that is at the heart of Millennial Media’s culture.

How would you define your leadership style?

In one word – passionate. I have been living and breathing mobile since its inception, and I am determined to give our organisation my best every day. I hold my employees to a similar standard as we work together to shape our own future and that of the industry.

Over the years, my leadership style has matured and I’ve grown into an individual that trusts in his team, believes in their capabilities and supports their decisions.

I work towards choosing the smartest and most relevant people for the job, and allow them the time and space required to make their mark at work, determine the best course of action, and to make their own mistakes.

If there is a requirement for me to get more involved, I step in to take a more hands-on approach, coach staff at the entry level, participate in brainstorm sessions, etc – whatever the need or hour it may be.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

One of the most satisfying things about my job has been the opportunity to watch people grow as individuals, as well as in terms of their own skill sets. For instance, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to mentor someone who has never travelled outside of Singapore and Malaysia, but now works across all of Southeast Asia and has travelled the region extensively. I love watching them take charge and achieve their potential. It is very satisfying.

Personally, I also enjoy being at the cutting-edge of technology and could not have found a better industry to support that. Mobile is at the centre of consumer behaviour and the thread by which all advertising is connected.


What’s the best thing about HR in your organisation?

The honesty and integrity with which we deal with our people is what makes our HR policy stand out. We truly care about our staff and are committed to their wellbeing throughout their time at Millennial Media. We want our team to be able to achieve their full potential and we stand behind them from the beginning.

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