Mr. Asinari, 41, is being groomed to succeed Gary Burandt as CEO next year, when Mr. Burandt returns to the U.S.
"I thrive on change," said Mr. Asinari, whose strong competitive spirit and fearless nature led him to race Porsches.
AN INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND
Born in Rome and educated in the U.S., Mr. Asinari joined J. Walter Thompson in 1985 in New York, after two years as an account executive on Procter & Gamble and General Foods accounts at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.
He moved to London in 1992 with J. Walter Thompson Europe to handle JWT client Warner-Lambert, just as the U.S. company moved from a decentralized to a highly centralized marketing structure. As a worldwide account director (known at JWT as directors-in-charge) and director of new business and marketing for Europe, he worked on the Scott Paper Co. and Heineken beer accounts. In 1993 he helped win and run his first global account, courier company TNT Express Worldwide.
After Europe and the U.S., Asia was the obvious next step.
" Y&R came at a time when I was thinking within myself it was time to move forward," he said.
DY&R ranks seventh in Asia with billings of $940 billion, according to Advertising Age International figures. The firm's client list is evenly divided among U.S., Japanese and other Asian companies, he said.
"It used to be [non-Japanese] Asian companies made products for other companies, but now they have the desire to develop Asian branded products for the conquest of the world," he said.
"We regard them as rising stars."