Baxter Jolly will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award on 24 September 2020, at the virtual Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards.

Jolly is currently Asia-Pacific CEO at Weber Shandwick, a role he assumed in 2015 after five years as regional vice-chair. Under his leadership, the Interpublic Group (IPG) firm has won numerous agency of the year honours, and has tripled in size over the past decade. Last week, Weber Shandwick was named as one of PRovoke's seven Asia-Pacific Agencies of the Decade.  

Jolly first joined IPG agency Golin/Harris Forrest in September 2003, before becoming MD of GolinHarris Singapore and, two years later, MD of Weber Shandwick. Before joining IPG, Jolly was executive director of Japanese boutique firm Cosmo PR. 

Former Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific and EMEA chairman Tim Sutton, who worked with Jolly for more than a decade, described the Malaysian native as "an absolutely star leader, but for qualities that have not always been well understood in Western business cultures."

"By which I mean: gentleness, kindness, humility, listening skills and, above all, empathy," said Sutton. "In my long experience of working with him, he was invariably calm, intuitive, inspiring and caring. And totally loyal. No wonder then that so many of his colleagues and clients don’t just respect Baxter: they end up loving him too."

Sutton noted that Jolly's ability to make tough decisions reflected a "rare gift" — "somehow the people affected by the decision end up saying ‘sorry’ to him rather than the other way around."

"He has such a sure touch in navigating all the cultural complexities of the huge diverse region that is Asia-Pacific," added Sutton. "The proof point lies in his results. I do not believe that any of his peers in the industry in Asia can begin to match the consistency of his business track record. Sometimes, nice guys can and do win."