Robert Sawatzky
Mar 17, 2021

Luke Nathans leaves Iris after 12 years

The APAC CEO will not be immediately replaced at the Cheil-owned agency network.

Luke Nathans leaves Iris after 12 years

Luke Nathans, regional CEO of Iris APAC will be departing the agency after 12 years, he has announced. Global CEO Steve Bell will be stepping in to take over duties in the region, but the role will not be immediately replaced. 

During his time at Iris, Nathans had been responsible for building Iris’ capabilities throughout Asia-Pacific, from its regional home base in Singapore.  The Cheil-owned agency network worked with some of the world’s biggest brands in the region, delivering award-winning campaigns for Lego, Guinness and Samsung. Nathans was also instrumental in fronting work for many challenger brands in the region such as Rapid Rugby and Sustenir and was a regular presenter at industry conferences such as Spikes Asia.

While the agency was challenged during the pandemic from its stable of travel, hospitality and lifestyle clients, Nathans had been instrumental in diversifying growth in key areas such as integrated strategy, B2B and health care. He was also behind innovative new offerings in the tech and design space with the introduction of Liquorice and Dokio. In 2020 Luke was also made Global CEO of Cultural Assets at Iris.

In addition to the pandemic, Iris was dealt a blow last year when its former MD Sorcha John left to join The Secret Little Agency (TSLA). John and Nathans had formed a formiddable leadership duo out of Singapore which is now sure to leave a void. 

“My time at Iris has been an extraordinary ride. I’ve worked with some of the smartest clients in the business and have been lucky enough to work alongside people far more talented than me. We have created some incredibly brave work, had some good times and hopefully made a difference to the brands and businesses we’ve partnered along the way," Nathans said.

"Despite the incredible shifts that we’ve experienced in the last 12 months. I’ve never felt more confident in the team and the business to continue to excite progress for our clients. With that in mind, I think there has never been a better time for me to move on,” he added

Steve Bell, Global CEO at Iris added: “We’re really grateful to Luke for 12 years of incredible work at Iris. Luke has been at the heart of some of our most progressive and creatively driven campaigns in his time with us. He leaves the agency in great shape and in very good hands and we wish him all the success he deserves in the next chapter of his career.”


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