NEW YORK — Mike Coates is stepping down from his position as Americas president and CEO at H+K Strategies, and will return to Canada to serve as global vice-chairman before retiring next year.

Coates, who has spent 33 years with the firm, relocated to New York to become Americas CEO in mid-2014, after leading Canada since 1995. He consolidated regional leadership duties after Andy Weitz stepped down from his 12-month stint as US CEO, following the departure of predecessor Dan Bartlett in 2013. 

Goldy Hyder, Claudia Gioia and Beth Balsam, the CEOs of Canada, Latin America and the US, respectively, will now report directly to H+K Strategies global chairman and CEO Jack Martin. An agency spokesperson said the firm has no plans to replace Coates' position.

Coates' leadership tenure has been notable for the rollout of progressive parental leave policies. In addition, he helped push the expansion of Group SJR in North America and spearheaded the acquisition of Ideal Hill+Knowlton in Brazil.

"When I first approached Mike to take up the Americas position, the communications world was in a period of unprecedented disruption," said Martin. "Mike has steered H+K Americas through that change and put the region on a growth path. He brought on three highly competent regional leaders who can continue that success. I want to thank him for his 33 years of service to this firm."

"The job Jack asked me to do is largely done," added Coates. "We have three superior leaders for the US, Canada and Latin America in Beth Balsam, Goldy Hyder and Claudia Gioia. So after much consideration, it is time for me to hang up my skates here at H+K. Sometimes you just know when it is time to step aside."