SAN FRANCISCO — Weber Shandwick West president Luca Penati will be stepping down from his role in March to pursue the next chapter in his career.

“After almost five years, I have decided to take a break from work, which means I'm leaving Weber Shandwick. It's a fantastic firm with amazing people who I will miss every day,” Penati wrote in a LinkedIn post. “I am leaving fully confident in my team, what we've built and what's ahead. I know they'll take the firm and the work to another level.”

“I made this crazy decision, as mom blurted out when I told her (“Luca, ma sei matto?") because after 30 years in the communications and marketing industry it's time for me to explore what's next. To discover what I want to be when I grow up,” he said.

Penati started his career in Milan in 1988, and within three years joined Edelman as executive VP and deputy GM of its Milan office. He moved to the US in 1998 to take the same role in Edelman’s Silicon Valley office, assuming the GM position less than five years later.

Penati then spent nine years at Ogilvy & Mather in MD roles before joining Weber Shandwick as GM. He stepped up to the president position nearly two years ago.

“Luca has been instrumental in growing Weber Shandwick’s capabilities on the West Coast, building a strong team, and expanding our business in the West,” said Sara Gavin, the agency's president of North America. “We are actively looking for a replacement and we’re fully committed to continuing the great work Luca and his team have done in Weber Shandwick’s West region. We are grateful for his many contributions, and we will miss him.”