Leadership Team

Joo-Lee AW | Founder and Managing Partner
Joo-Lee AW
Explorer, Trekker, Music Lover

Areas of Specialization:

Top management, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Marketing and Finance

Consumer, Lifestyle, Industrial


I started The People at Work in 2000 because I wanted to help people build careers which would allow them to realise their potential. Guiding others to explore new possibilities and to expand their thinking felt so idealistic but then, I thought, why not?

After getting my MSc in Marketing from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BSc, Marketing & Management from University of Oregon, I embarked on a marketing career at Leo Burnett, KFC and Citibank. I went on to add Sales and Business Development to my resume at Radio Corporation of Singapore (now Mediacorp) and finally, Dow Jones International. Along the way, I observed and came to a deeper understanding of how different organisations and teams worked and how the success levers were unique to each culture.

I interact with people from diverse backgrounds.. Communicating across cultures requires me to listen with an open mind and heart. Client or candidate, I strive to understand their needs and expectations, whether spoken or unspoken.

Outside of work, I immerse myself in nature, the outdoors and music. My travel wish list is endless and I’ve trekked in Malaysia, Nepal, Japan and the US. I am equally passionate about music, and am still trying to master the silver alto sax I bought with my first bonus. As a company, we would like to help the elderly and sick and over the years have donated funds and equipment to different welfare and charity groups, regardless of religion or race.

Chong Lian ONG | Partner & Singapore/Malaysia Country Manager
Chong Lian ONG
Avid Sportswoman, Airborne trained, Runner

Areas of Specialization:

CxO and Top Management, Human Resources, Sales and Business Development

Real Estate, Transport/ Logistics, Wealth Management & Insurance


I feel that life is worth living when you do something you believe in and give yourself to it fully, with integrity, conviction and dedication.

After graduating from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor in Sociology and Literature, I started my career in Public Service when I graduated close to the top 10% of the Singapore Armed Forces Officer Cadet School. I was later one of the first few women appointed to be the aide-de-camp to the President of Singapore.

Since then, I’ve held senior responsibilities both in the Public and the Private sectors. To clients, I try to bring to the table best practices; new perspectives, and a holistic view about finding the best fit in terms of not just technical skill sets, but also in getting the right personality and fit into our clients’ organizations. In doing so, we can truly help to deliver results and build great teams.

My approach to a service-led life extends beyond my work and my career. While I make time to run, trek, swim, bike, engage in sea sports, ski and parasail, I continue to give and grow spiritually as a person by playing a very active role as a church leader and volunteer.

Cesar GINETE | Partner & Philippines Country Manager
Music, Photography & Travel Enthusiast

Areas of Specialization:

Executive Search, Strategic Talent Advisory, Talent Benchmarking

Consumer, E-commerce, Industrial, Infrastructure


Helping organisations and people develop to their full potential drives me. I am highly intrigued to learn how people and businesses behave or perform in complex environments. To my clients, I aim to be a true partner who is engaged and aligned with their business.

I’ve been fortunate to spend the past 35 years of my career doing exactly that. Since completing a BSc Degree in Clinical Psychology and a Diploma in Industrial Relations, I’ve worked in HR roles in companies such as Semirara Coal Corporation, Moriroku Philippines, Cemex, Avida Land and StratSearchAsia.

I share this quote from US President Woodrow Wilson which resonates well with my personal philosophy:

“You are not here merely to make a living, you are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.”

In the spirit of curiosity, I pursue my interest in travel, photography, art & architecture, jazz, classical, pop music and books by Jonathan Safran Foer and Simon Sebag Montefiore. I am a keen gardener and spend much time talking to my plants. Recently, I was delighted to see my fussy bromeliad flower after much coaxing (I never give up).

François LEBAILLY | Director, France


François heads up our Paris office and is responsible for developing the French market and connecting with organisations with business interests in Asia.

François has extensive knowledge of the French and other European markets gained from more than 25 years in consulting and executive search. He is focused on the Consumer, Retail, Automotive and Industrial sectors. His prior search experience has ranged from C-suite roles to high-level executive and board positions. François speaks fluent English, French and Italian.

Born and raised in Normandy, François received his education in France and the UK. He holds a post degree in Export Marketing from Buckinghamshire University in England. He enjoys cooking, travel, trekking in different countries and keeps an active lifestyle through sports.