LONDON--Sally Costerton is departing Hill & Knowlton, after more than 12 years with the firm.

Costerton, who leaves her role of European CEO at the end of the year, told the Holmes Report that she will use a lengthy gardening leave period to determine her future plans.

“During the past three years, we have done a root and branch review of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) business and I’ve made a number of substantial new hires and promotions and put a leadership team in place, which I believe provides clients with great breadth and depth," said Costerton. "That process is now complete and I think now is the right time to move on.”

Earlier this year, Costerton's took on additional duties as chairman of H+K's newly-defined AMEASCA region, which covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia. The development came after she had served as EMEA chairman and CEO for two years.

Costerton's European responsibilities will now be divided between Northeast and Central Europe CEO Lars Erik Gronntun and UK CEO Richard Millar, each of whom took on expanded responsibilities earlier this year. AMEASCA president and CEO Dave Robinson will continue to lead the region.

“While I am sad to see Sally go,” said H+K CEO Jack Martin. “I know my colleagues will join me in thanking her for her tireless commitment to this great firm over many years. She will be missed. H+K is in her debt and she goes with our very best wishes and good luck for the future.”

Costerton's departure, which she described as "amicable", comes after some significant changes at the upper ranks of Hill & Knowlton's global management. At the beginning of this year, global CEO Paul Taaffe departed the firm, with Jack Martin taking over leadership.

Costerton spent a decade in the technology sector, including a period as the firm’s practice head of technology, Europe, Middle East and Asia. She has also worked extensively in the financial services sector.


She joined the company in July 1999 from technology boutique Abacus. Prior to that, she spent four years at Kaizo.