The Internet Advertising Bureau UK's chief executive Guy Phillipson is set to step down from leading the organisation after 12 years in charge.
Phillipson, who has become a prominent figure on the British digital marketing scene as a result of his role, will step down in January 2017but hopes to continue working within the media industry as both an advisor and a non-exec.
He joined the organisation in January 2005 having previously served as head of advertising at Vodafone, and during his tenure transformed the IAB into a free resource for marketers while encouraging best practice and advice for the burgeoning sector.
Phillipson commented: "For me, leading the IAB has been the most rewarding and exhilarating job in the world, navigating the growth of video, social, mobile and programmatic advertising – none of which really existed when I took over. But the best part has been recruiting and nurturing a team of top professionals, and working with incredibly bright and supportive member companies right across the global digital industry. So to be moving on at a time when the UK is so far ahead, and digital advertising is a large, vital ingredient to the success of all ad campaigns, is a big decision for me. But the time feels right”.
Richard Eyre, CBE, chairman of IAB UK, paid tribute by describing him as having played "a consistent role in building confidence in online marketing".
“His place in the history of online advertising is assured," he added.
Phillipson was also a regular contributor to The Drum in recent years, writing a number of articles on the evolution of digital marketing.
On hearing of his imminent departure, Amy Kean, strategy lead for Mindshare APAC and former social media director for the IAB, said that when it came to digital "it's no exaggeration to say that Guy played a pivotal role in the industry's success."
She continued: "He took charge of the IAB when dial-up and pop-ups were still a thing, the web was a total Wild West and digital advertising wasn't even on the marketing agenda, let alone at the top.
"Guy turned a small industry association into an educational, dynamic, professional force to be reckoned with that regulatory bodies paid attention to and other industry bodies were afraid of. I genuinely can't imagine who else would have been able to take on that role: his passion is contagious and inspirational, and annoyingly he's always right. Everyone should be allowed to work with Guy Phillipson at some point in their career," Kean stated.
Internal and external applications for his successor are now being accepted with an appointment expected by December.