Nichols (pictured), who has been chief executive at Instinctif and its predecessor agency College Hill since 2006, stepped down from the role on Friday (9 November).
Day-to-day operations will now be overseen by Linacre, previously senior managing partner, corporate and capital markets, who recently moved to the group MD role. Nichols, who was formerly CEO of Huntsworth and Incepta, will no longer sit on the Instinctif board.
Private equity firm Vitruvian, which has owned a 51 per cent stake in the corporate PR specialist since 2011, began looking for buyers in Autumn 2017. Vitruvian was understood to have been seeking around £20m ($26m) for the stake.
Linacre said in July that Vitruvian was "not in a rush" to sell. PRWeek understands the sales process for the City-of-London-headquartered agency, which operates in 16 cities globally, remains paused.
Instinctif generated global revenue of $50.1m (£37.8m) in 2017, a rise of five per cent on the previous year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report. Headcount was not disclosed.
Instinctif declined to comment.