LONDON — Iris managing director Laura Weston has left to go freelance after 11 years with the business.

Weston (pictured, left), who was previously the PR lead at the agency, told the Holmes Report: “It was a really difficult decision to leave the agency. I moved back up north to Liverpool when I had my second baby, and commuted to London for three days a week after I came back from maternity leave. Iris was brilliant, but it was really hard, and realistically it wasn’t a long-term plan.”

She added she was “looking forward to working on some projects I feel passionately about, including leading communications and being a board director for the Women's Sport Trust.”

Iris deputy global CEO Steve Bell said: “We’re sad to see Laura go as she’s been a big force in driving our offering over the last 11 years. We wish her all the very best in her next move and know she’ll be brilliant and fearless in whatever she turns her hand to.”

Managing partner Vicki Harding (pictured, right) will be stepping up to lead the PR specialism in London, coinciding with her own return from maternity leave.

Harding has been at Iris for 12 years and was formerly at Band & Brown. She has led campaigns for BMW, MINI, Samsung and Heineken and her enhanced remit sees her responsible for clients including eBay, BRITA, Haven, Barclays and UN Women.

Bell said: “Vicki’s passion, dedication and drive mixed with her sharp intelligence, cultural nous and ability to quickly shape pretty much any challenge you could throw at her makes her the ideal choice for the role.”