AKQA Tokyo elevates Hideaki Hara to General Manager

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AKQA Tokyo elevates Hideaki Hara to General Manager

AKQA has announced the appointment of Hideaki Hara as General Manager for AKQA Tokyo. Hara’s appointment is part of the wider China and Japan management transition.


Sam Sterling successfully held the role of Managing Director AKQA China and Japan for three years, and was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer, APAC late last year.

Hara joined AKQA in 2013, as a Community Manager and has grown significantly with the company during that time, most recently holding the role of Client Partner. Over his time at AKQA he’s served clients such as Nike, Google, and Itochu to deliver impactful, award-winning work and has played a crucial role in the studio’s growth. In 2020, amidst an environment characterised by the pandemic and all its challenges, Hara was critical to delivering a significant growth year for the studio.

Hara said: “The past eight years at AKQA have been extraordinary. We work with some of the most innovative brands in the world. Businesses are constantly changing, driving AKQA to press ahead of them to stay capable of being a trusted partner. I’m incredibly excited to continue to innovate with this remarkable team and our clients.”

Known for his proactive approach, Hara continuously pushes those around him to think in solutions, striving to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing brands in Japan today. It is this specific way of working that has led to creating innovative work awarded by the likes of Clio, D&AD, Spikes and One Show during his tenure.

Brain Vella, Managing Partner for Asia Pacific said: “Hara is a wonderful human and lives and breathes AKQAs values. He brings a growth mindset to every room, and is well respected by his peers. Hara also knows the local market well, hence it was a natural decision to appoint him to this role. We are incredibly excited to see how he and the team will shape the next chapter for this passionate studio”

The appointment of Hara is part of a wider leadership team restructure strategy, put into place to ensure a smooth transition as Sterling phases out of the role. The appointment is effective immediately. Hara will report directly to Brian Vella.