VMLY&R ECD Harsh Kapadia leaves London for New York

Kapadia: returning to New York
Kapadia: returning to New York

Kapadia is relocating for family reasons.

VMLY&R London’s executive creative director Harsh Kapadia is leaving to return to the agency’s New York office.

Kapadia, who joined VML London 18 months ago, is relocating for family health and well-being reasons. He discussed the move with VMLY&R’s global chief creative officer, Debbi Vandeven, last week.

He said: "Debbi and VMLY&R have been amazing. I honestly do not know many companies that would make such a quick move happen for their employee – especially when it’s personal. I am excited to be reunited with the New York team and to have the support that my family needs."

VML and Y&R merged last year to create VMLY&R and Kapadia was chosen to run the London office’s creative department alongside Mark Roalfe, the only remaining co-founder of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, which later became Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and rebranded to simply Y&R in 2017.

Kapadia played an instrumental role in winning accounts such as Diageo’s global digital business and Nestlé Skin Health. 

In the past six months, VMLY&R London has launched six campaigns, including Baileys "#RecipeUnfudged", Center Parcs "This is family" and "Road whisperer" last month for Think!, the government’s road-safety initiative. 

Kapadia will be replaced in the interim by Jaime Mandelbaum, VMLY&R EMEA chief creative officer.

VMLY&R will appoint a permanent executive creative director for London once the new chief executive of has been hired. Paul Lawson left his role as chief executive of Y&R London after the agency's merger with VML was announced, while Jon Sharpe, who was appointed chief executive of VMLY&R London, resigned in December 2018 amid a disciplinary investigation.

Chris Wood, VMLY&R’s chief integration officer for Europe, has been running the London office in the meantime as interim chief executive.

Mandelbaum said: "Harsh has built a fantastic creative department in London. The team will miss his passion and energy, but I have no doubt we will have many more occasions to work together."

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