LONDON — Tim Sutton will depart Weber Shandwick at the end of this month, PRovoke can reveal, concluding a 16-year career with the Interpublic Group firm that included leadership of its operations across Asia-Pacific and EMEA.

After joining Weber Shandwick as chairman of EMEA in 2004, Sutton moved to Hong Kong in 2007 to oversee Asia-Pacific before returning to London in 2015 as A-P & EMEA chairman of CMG, the Interpublic unit that houses its PR, sports and event marketing agencies. 

He will remain in an advisory role with Weber Shandwick until the end of this year, after which he intends to explore other opportunities. It is understood that Weber Shandwick has commenced a search for a new EMEA leader; Jonas Palmqvist is regional COO, while UK/Ireland leadership remains vacant following the abrupt departure of Rachel Friend at the end of 2019.

Sutton's departure comes after a series of changes to Weber Shandwick's global leadership team, following Gail Heimann's elevation to global CEO last year. In addition to several appointments, these have meant that Sutton, Asia-Pacific CEO Baxter Jolly and North America CEO Joy Farber Kolo now report to chief growth officer Susan Howe

"I will not deny that it is a considerable emotional wrench to leave Weber Shandwick after 16 wonderful years with the firm," said Sutton in a statement. "I am so deeply grateful for the opportunities the firm has given me; proud of the successes of the businesses that I had led; and will always retain warm feelings for my many friends and colleagues in the business. However, after such a long time, I do feel the need for a personal change. After taking a break to recharge, I look forward to exploring new paths in good time."

Sutton's leadership of Weber Shandwick included consistent growth across Asia-Pacific and EMEA, often at industry-leading levels, and led to multiple Agency of the Year honours in both regions.

Heimann told PRovoke: "We are actively searching for a new leader to oversee our thriving and dynamic EMEA region. In the meantime our team and clients are in excellent hands with a strong leadership team in place."

She added: "Tim has made an indelible impact on our people, our clients and our industry. He has been a loyal leader, a trusted advisor and a mentor. Under Tim’s leadership, our EMEA and APAC operations have thrived and, together with our remarkable teams, we have experienced multiple years of strong growth and received dozens of awards for our work and multiple agency of the year honors."

Prior to his career with Weber Shandwick, Sutton was chairman of Orpheus Group and chairman of BSMG Worldwide’s European operations. Before that, he was CEO of UK PR firm Charles Barker.