LONDON — W Communications is set to name a new board and management lineup after Rachel Friend stepped down from her role as CEO earlier this year.

Friend departed the independent agency, following two years as CEO, to spend more time with her family. She joined W in 2020 after nine years with Weber Shandwick, where she rose to the role of UK and Ireland CEO.

In a statement, Friend paid tribute to the partnership she built with W founder Warren Johnson, which included a New York office launch, the acquisition of Lotus Travel PR, and doubling the investment in social mobility enterprise WX. 

"We went on an exciting journey together, and I know [Johnson] will continue to take this outstanding agency to new heights," said Friend. "He’s an inspirational leader and someone I truly respect and loved working with."

"I and the entire agency are hugely grateful to Rachel for her part in steering the agency through a period of rapid growth," said Johnson. "She has left a very positive mark and we wish her well for the future."

Johnson added that the firm will be "announcing our new board and management lineup in the coming weeks."

W grew by 30% in 2021 to reach fee income of almost $20m, according to PRovoke's Global 250 Agency Ranking