Arnold Worldwide CEO Kiran Smith has suddenly departed the agency, a spokeswoman for its parent company Havas North America confirmed to Ad Age.
“Kiran brought many good insights to Arnold and we thank her for her contributions," Paul Marobella, chairman and CEO of Havas Creative North America, said in a statement. "We wish her much success as she moves forward in the next chapter of her career."
The Havas spokeswoman said Smith's last day was on Tuesday, but she declined to provide any additional information such as why she left or if Arnold has a succession plan in place. Smith did not immediately return a request for comment.
Smith was hired as CEO only 18 months ago. She replaced Pam Hamlin, who left the agency last year. The search for Hamlin's replacement was conducted by MediaLink. At the time, Hamlin said she wanted to explore "what's next" for her, and that it was the right time for new leadership to take over. According to Hamlin's LinkedIn page, she freelanced as a consultant after Arnold and now sits on the board of directors at Cambridge Trust Co.
Prior to joining Arnold, Smith served three years as chief marketing officer at Brookstone and had no previous experience at an ad agency. Before Brookstone, she was VP of marketing for Stride Rite. Her other past stints include marketing roles at grocery chains SuperValu and Shaw's Supermarket as well as consulting positions at Alliance Consulting Group and Accenture.
At the time of her appointment as CEO, Smith said she knew she was not the conventional choice, having no background leading an agency, but she saw that as an advantage. "I'm coming in with fresh eyes," Smith had said.