Arnold Worldwide today announced that global CEO Pam Hamlin will be leaving the agency after more than two decades.
Managing partner, chief financial officer, global director of operations and 25-year Arnold vet Scott Feyler will also be leaving the Boston-based, Havas-owned network.
“After two decades of leading Arnold through many chapters of its evolution, Pam Hamlin has decided to step down from her role as CEO later this year,” said a company spokesperson in a statement, which also noted that the departing leader had dedicated “the majority of her career” to the agency. “We are deeply grateful to Pam for her amazing dedication and commitment to the agency and are proud of everything that Arnold has accomplished under her leadership.”
The statement also said Hamlin will remain at Arnold “into later this year” while working with chief creative officer Icaro Doria and other leaders to ensure “a very thoughtful succession and transition process.”
Feyler will leave in mid-May to begin an unspecified new job. “We have immense gratitude for Scott’s 25 years of service to Arnold and wish only good things for him in his future endeavors,” the representative said.
“At this 20-year milestone, I have decided it’s the right time to explore what’s next for me and for new leadership to take the agency forward,” Hamlin said in a separate statement. “Arnold is beginning an exciting chapter under Icaro, who has been a tremendous addition to the agency, helping to shape the vision for modern creativity in a changing environment where meaningful ideas have never been more valuable.”
The agency spokesperson confirmed that Arnold is actively seeking her replacement.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” Hamlin said of her tenure with Arnold. “I’m truly proud of all we’ve accomplished together over the years and to have had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people in the business. I can’t wait to watch Arnold’s next chapter.”
Havas North America CEO and chairman Paul Marobella thanked Hamlin for “her decades of service not only to Arnold but also Havas,” wishing her “incredible success and satisfaction in her next adventures.”
Regarding the agency’s plans, he said, “The Arnold creative network will continue the great tradition of creativity under Icaro Doria’s leadership not only in Boston but in New York and around the world. … We have full confidence for a bright future.”
Doria left DDB to lead creative at Arnold last August, four months after his predecessor, Jim Elliott, departed. That move came amid a larger restructuring of Havas’s North American network. As Arnold’s parent company moved toward a regional leadership model, Marobella and creative chairman Jason Peterson were promoted to oversee its creative agencies, with Hamlin reporting directly to them.
Hamlin joined Arnold as managing partner and director of account management in 1998, leading its relationships with Ocean Spray, Gillette, Royal Caribbean and other clients. She was promoted to president of its Boston headquarters in 2006 and to global president and CEO seven years later and named CEO in 2015.
Over the past year, Arnold has parted with some of its biggest clients. Carnival Cruise Line launched a review in May and later went to Anomaly, while Hershey ended a 12-year relationship with the shop last August in a consolidation move. Other major accounts include Jack Daniels, Progressive and Jeep, for which the agency created the “Anti-Manifesto” ad for Super Bowl LII.
Arnold confirmed in December that it had gone through a round of “staffing adjustments” that affected an estimated 30-plus employees as its contract with Carnival came to an end and cosmetics giant KOA shifted to a per-project relationship.
The agency spokesperson declined to comment today on reports of additional downsizing at the agency’s headquarters in recent weeks.