Edelman's executive vice chairman for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa is leaving his role in March. An internal announcement has been made at the PR agency, Campaign has learned.
Desai told Campaign the past two years have been "interesting", noting it has been "hard work and a lot of fun."
The agency veteran was brought-in to lead Edelman just two years ago, after a 20 year career at Lowe + Partners, now MullenLowe, that spanned Mumbai, Dubai, Beirut, London, Bangkok and Singapore.
"I came in to build a strong integrated brand practice in the region," Desai shared in a written statement to Campaign. "Leading the integrated teams across creative, planning, digital, PR, social and brand communications has been a great experience. I am really proud of the teams and work I leave behind."
During his time at Edelman the agency has won lead assignments with clients such as Arla, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Direct Asia.
One key highlight for Desai was championing Edelman’s Women’s leadership network for the region. It is not yet known where Desai might land next.
In a statement, Edelman thanked Desai for his contribution and wished him the best, noting "Rupen built up a strong integrated brand practice, establishing both depth and breadth in digital, creative and planning. He feels the time is right for the brand team to enter the next stage."
Regional CEO Jesse Lin will now work with senior leadership to shape the team and skill sets at Edelman in the transition period, the agency said.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include comment from Edelman.