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MullenLowe Profero global CEO Wayne Arnold to leave after 20 years

The global chief executive officer of what was once the world’s largest independent digital agency is leaving after 20 years.

Wayne Arnold, the Singapore-based global boss of MullenLowe Profero, has announced he will leave  on March 25 2018, marking 20 years to the day since he and his brother Daryl first founded the agency in London.

Arnold’s departure comes just days after MullenLowe Singapore CEO Shannon Cullum announced his sudden exit from the agency to join start-up Jet8. 

He will take a 10-month career break to “work out where [he] can add more value in [his] professional career,” he said in a statement.

Arnold’s exit also coincides with the elevation of MullenLowe Profero Americas CEO and Group New York president Aaron Reitkopf to the role of global chairman, which he will hold alongside his current responsibilities. Meanwhile, Ben Mooney, a former sales director at Publicis.Sapient, has joined as global head of business transformation.

Over a period of 15 years, Arnold and Daryl spearheaded Profero’s extensive growth into Asia-Pacific, opening agencies in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney. In 2013, he relocated from New York to Singapore, becoming one of only two global agency CEOs in the region.

The other at the time was the India-based Maxus boss, Vikram Sakhuja, who has since left GroupM. Arnold’s exit will leave Ruth Stubbs of iProspect and Jean Lin of Isobar as the last global CEOs based in Asia.

A year after moving to Singapore, Profero was acquired by Lowe and two years later, Interpublic merged Lowe with American agency Mullen to create Mullen Lowe Group.

Writing about why more global bosses should use Asia as their home turf in Mumbrella Asia this year, Arnold said: “I want to see other companies pay a little more attention to what’s happening beyond Western soil. The more talent and strategic investment in this region, the faster it will grow and the better we will all do. We will prosper together.”

MullenLowe global CEO Alex Leikikh said: “Appointing brave, innovative thinkers like Aaron and Ben to senior positions is testament to Wayne’s visionary and tenacious global strategy. Elevating Aaron to chairman from within the business reflects our values of finding quality people from within.

“MullenLowe Profero is a world-leader in digital transformation by combining technology, creativity, media and experience design to create innovative and business-changing digital solutions for some of the world’s greatest brands. With double digit growth over the last five years, the agency network and its leadership team continue to excel in uncharted and fast-moving market conditions.”

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