BEIJING — Li Hong, who led FleishmanHillard China for 15 years before taking on an advisory position last year, has left the agency, the Holmes Report can reveal.

Hong steps down after Rachel Catanach was named Greater China president as part of a leadership restructuring in 2016. Prior to that he had overseen the agency's mainland operation since joining from Ogilvy in 2002, a period of consistent expansion for FleishmanHillard China.

"I believe the resignation is the best approach for both sides," Hong told the Holmes Report, adding that he will now focus on consulting work for technology companies. "I am very grateful to what I have had working with FleishmanHillard, growing that company and keeping it profitable. There are no regrets — I wish them all the best."

Hong's departure comes as Fleishman elevates two executive to senior China roles. Lichi Hsueh, currently head of the firm’s Shanghai operations, has been promoted to a new role as chief operating officer for FleishmanHillard in China. Yisi Liu, currently deputy GM in Shanghai, will become GM of the Shanghai office.

“Li Hong’s contribution to the success of FleishmanHillard’s mainland operations was significant and pioneering in so many ways,” said FleishmanHillard Asia-Pacific president and senior partner Lynne Anne Davis. "His core belief to provide clients with progressive and innovative integrated services drove his approach to managing clients as well as developing teams. His ability to anticipate trends and his connections at the highest levels allowed FleishmanHillard to undertake some of the most innovative and memorable campaigns in China’s PR history.

"His lasting achievements are many: for example, he actively supported the firm’s Global China Practice when it was launched in 2012, helping to grow outbound business from China to the worldwide network to support the cross-border expansion of Chinese industry leaders. Today, many of our Chinese clients are global leaders and feature prominently on the Fortune 500, and we are proud to serve them."

Other leaders in FleishmanHillard’s Greater China leadership team include Jerry Zou, general manager Beijing; Judy Wei, general manager consumer services; Helena He, general manager digital and social engagement; Geoff Bilbrough, general manager Hong Kong; and Patrick Yu, deputy general manager Hong Kong.