HONG KONG — Erin Atan has stepped down from her role as group corporate affairs director, the Holmes Report can reveal, less than 18 months since she joined the Hong Kong conglomerate.

Atan joined the company in early 2018, marking something of a shift for a corporate affairs function that had been led by Neil McNamara for the previous 30 years. In particular, Atan's hire was viewed as an effort by the company to modernise its communications approach.

"It was an excellent opportunity to help Jardines start their journey of modernisation," Atan told the Holmes Report. "It is rare to see a company with such a strong heritage have the willingness to modernise and remain relevant to its stakeholders."

"I’m honoured to have the opportunity to help them start their journey by shaping their brand strategy, establish a corporate affairs approach, and help define their sustainability agenda," added Atan, who declined to provide further details.

Jardine Matheson representatives had not responded to request for comment as this story went live. 

Atan, who reported directly to Jardine Matheson CEO Ben Keswick, joined the company from Rolls-Royce, where she spent more than six years, ultimately serving as communications director for Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Turkey. Prior to that she led BMW Asia's communications remit, and also served a six-year stint at Lewis.

Atan is on gardening leave until the end of this year.