New Delhi: Praveen Kenneth, founder and chairman of Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, has announced his retirement from the advertising agency. His stake has been sold to French advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe, which holds a majority 51% stake in the agency.

Started in 2004 by Kenneth along with British ad man Andy Law, along with investor and co-founder Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, Law & Kenneth was one of the independent communication companies in India, before becoming a part of Publicis Groupe in January 2014, to create L&K Saatchi & Saatchi.

Kenneth, who has also headed Publicis India between 1999 and 2003 as chief executive, will mentor and guide the teams over the next six months during the transition period. Meanwhile, the agency’s chief executive and managing partner Anil Nair will be leading the company.

Maurice Levy, chairman of the supervisory board, Publicis Groupe, said in a statement, “The acquisition of his agency and the merger with Saatchi and Saatchi ( in 2014), has allowed building a superb agency we are all proud of. Praveen is a leader, a real ad man, always led by the interest of the clients. I developed a great personal relationship with Praveen and wish him the very best."

Without revealing his future plans, Kenneth said it has been a dream run running the agency and successfully setting up four offices with over 400 people working across functions.

“We ended up doing everything we set out to do over the last 15 years. My partnership with Maurice Levy is special, he has been my biggest supporter and Publicis Groupe. Winning at awards like Cannes, D&AD along with epic pitch wins and clients. I am sure this will continue in the safe hands of the Publicis Groupe family, Anil Nair our CEO and the leadership team," he added.

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi handles clients auto firm Renault India, HeroMotoCorp, Kent RO, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies P&G and Dabur, online furniture retailer Pepper Fry, Jockey, Mondelez and Exide Insurance, among others.

The agency has been instrumental in establishing leadership position for Renault India as well as launching HeroMotoCorp.