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Lowe Lintas creative chief Arun Iyer to exit as MullenLowe unveils new group management team

The chairman and creative chief of Lowe Lintas, Arun Iyer, is leaving the agency after more than 15 years with plans to launch his own venture working with start-ups.

Amer Jaleel, left, with Virat Tandon

Iyer, who joined the agency in June 2003, will initially move to a creative consultancy role within the business before exiting over the next 12 months.

News of his departure emerged as MullenLowe Lintas Group unveiled a new management team in India with Amer Jaleel appointed group chairman and chief creative officer.

Jaleel joined Lowe Lintas in 2002 and has held multiple creative leadership positions, including CCO.

Meanwhile, Virat Tandon has been named Group CEO. Tandon joined the group in 2004 in the New Delhi offices of Lowe Lintas and has held various senior roles in the network in India and Singapore.

Jaleel and Tandon were named chairman and CCO, and CEO respectively of Mullen Lintas when it launched in 2015. In their new roles they will oversee the group’s three agencies; Lowe Lintas, Mullen Lintas and PointNine Lintas.

The departure of Iyer was described as a “separate development”.

Arun Iyer: leaving the group after more than 15 years

Iyer said in a statement: “I have had the privilege of being part of an institution. I have spent a little over 15 years here. And it is home. Over the last few years, I have been passionate about start-ups and have played a role in developing some strong brands such as Byju’s, Freecharge and Grofers.

“Going forward, I am planning to work more closely within the start-up eco-system.”

The agency said a 12-month transition period will see Iyer continue to work for key clients and help with succession planning.

Jaleel said: “Arun and I have been brothers-in-arms for over eight years now. We’ve been shouldering the equity and reputation of Lintas together and that gives you a sort of a feeling of being in the same womb!

“Arun has, over the last three years, taken the spirit that Balki infused in Lowe Lintas to a different zone and moulded the agency in his own way. A large part of my job for MullenLowe Lintas Group will be to take that imprint forward.”

MullenLowe Group global CEO Alex Leikikh said Jaleel and Tandon have built Mullen Lintas into a top 10 agency in just two years.

“Amer has been a creative leader of our group in India for a very long time now, and Virat embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the MullenLowe Group, and as such I am delighted to have them steer our overall business in India to even greater success,” he said.

In a joint statement, Jaleel and Tandon said: “It’s becoming more challenging for brands to win in the marketplace as the consumer is evolving and most categories are being disrupted and transformed due to technology. Clients are looking for all the help they can get from their agencies to win in this new reality. We want to continue to be our clients’ biggest strength.”

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