LONDON — Hugh Baillie, the EMEA and APAC lead of Weber Shandwick’s X Practice, has left the firm after four years to move into a new career including leadership coaching.

Baillie’s new role is as a chair of Vistage, a 60-year-old community and community for CEOs and SME owners, which creates peer-to-peer advisory boards for its 23,000 global members. As part of his new role, Baillie will give individual coaching to each member of a private advisory board of 12-15 business leaders. Vistage also offers access to speakers, case studies and proprietary research.

It is understood that Baillie applied for voluntary redundancy and left Weber Shandwick in the second half of last year. He said: “I’m proud of the digital transformation we have delivered as a team, and what I have learned about the power and potential of earned media along the way. I’ll miss the restlessness of the agency. Despite challenging times for our industry, I believe that Weber Shandwick is better set than virtually any agency to survive and prosper. I wish it nothing but good fortune.”

Baillie – who describes himself on LinkedIn as “a critical friend to people who want to grow themselves and their businesses” – also told PRovoke Media: “I’m at the stage where I want to keep learning but also give back, and so I have developed a portfolio that includes both building a peer-to-peer private advisory board with Vistage, and, among other projects, being involved in developing and promoting a new format in the game of golf.”

With brand and advertising experience spanning BBH, Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, Baillie joined Weber Shandwick in January 2017 from the CEO role at digital agency FullSix, initially as head of client experience for EMEA.

When Weber Shandwick launched its X Practice in 2018, headed by chief innovation officer Chris Perry, Baillie was elevated to lead the firm’s strategic disciplines – analysts, content creators, creative technologists, planners, producers, social media strategists and technology specialists – across EMEA and APAC.

Weber Shandwick president and CEO Gail Heimann said: “Hugh joined Weber Shandwick at a critical time to help reinvent our business and what we deliver to clients. He made a real impact with our colleagues across continental Europe, developing and integrating our EMEA digital capabilities and playing a key role in some of our UK acquisitions. We wish him well.”

An agency spokesperson said Baillie’s role would not be directly replaced and added: “We continue to invest in building out our innovation talent and capabilities to bring clients the solutions they need in this increasingly complex environment.”