Chandler Chicco co-founder Robert Chandler says he will retire this summer

Chandler Chicco Companies co-founder and principal Robert Chandler will retire from the communications industry this summer.

NEW YORK: Chandler Chicco Companies co-founder and principal Robert Chandler will retire from the communications industry this summer.

Chandler decided to step down from his role to spend more time with his wife and children, said Chandler Chicco spokesperson Amanda Loban.

He made the announcement late last week. Chandler Chicco parent company inVentiv Health Communications will likely seek an external candidate to fill Chandler’s role, Loban added. Lisa Stockman is Chandler Chicco’s president.

Chandler will help with the transition through June, said Loban.

Since starting the healthcare communications consultancy in 1995 with business partner Gianfranco Chicco, Chandler helped to grow the firm from five staffers to 400, which was not even an initial goal, he said in a Q&A released by the agency.

"We focused on doing great work for clients, and they asked us to do more work. And in more markets, which drove our global growth," said Chandler, in the Q&A. "We have a vibrant and supportive culture where the best and brightest work together to solve problems for our clients and, ultimately, make a difference in people’s lives. At the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about."

During nearly two decades at the helm of the firm, it has launched services including inVentiv Medical Communications, inVentiv Managed Care, and inVentiv Digital+Innovation, which were created to fill gaps in services. Other subsidiary agencies include BioSector 2 and Brandtectonics.

Chandler Chicco president Lisa Stockman – employee number three at the firm – praised Chandler for breaking down agency silos years before it was an industry trend.

"Way back 20 years ago when we stripped down the walls within the company, that was a novel idea. People thought we were crazy. It had a profound effect on way an agency can work – a lasting legacy," she said. "There was really only one model and he proved another model could work. He proved them wrong."

Chandler will help to identify and hire his successor, Stockman added.

InVentiv Health, a conglomerate of firms that serve the healthcare industry, bought Chandler Chicco in June 2007 for $65 million.

InVentiv realigned its global communications in January 2013 to operate with a "done as one" model incorporating advertising, PR, public policy, market access, medical communications, media, creative, branding, and digital. Chandler was appointed to lead the division, serving as inVentiv Communications’ worldwide president while continuing in his duties as SVP of marketing and communications for InVentiv Health and CEO of Chandler Chicco.

Chandler also worked at Burson-Marsteller for more than a decade.

This article was updated on March 17 at 5:30 pm EST with quotes from Stockman.

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