After 13 years of service starting as Division Director on various accounts across multiple categories to Chief Operating Officer and eventually to Chief Executive Officer in 2014, Mary Buenaventura announced today that she is leaving Y&R Philippines.

“I am grateful for my 13 years at Y&R Philippines, most especially for the opportunity to work with such a driven, inspiring, and creative team around the world, as well as with clients who truly treated us as a partner.”

Buenaventura said that this was the hardest decision she had to make in her life, “I believe in loyalty and giving back. I have a strong management team in place. They are pillars of the agency at each level.”

In an interview with adobo magazine, she said that her reason for leaving was to expand her knowledge, “[I want] new challenges and new learnings,” but couldn’t disclose just yet where she’s moving.

Before moving from PR agency Burson Marsteller to Y&R Philippines in 2002, Buenaventura worked for Basic Advertising (Publicis Group).

During her stint in Y&R Philippines, she set up the agency’s integrated marketing communication capabilities, a first in the Y&R Asian network, and spearheaded service innovations particularly interactive/CRM, Shopper Marketing, Activation and PR.

She has also created leaders within the agency and worked with the biggest brands such as Colgate-Palmolive, Ford Motor Company, Chevron, Accenture, Inbisco/Mayora Indonesia, Sun Cellular, CDO, and 2Go Group Inc.

“I learned so much from Matt Godfrey (Y&R Asia President), Sanjay Bhasin (Y&R Southeast Asia CEO and Chiqui Lara (Former CEO & President of Y&R Philippines, Buenaventura’s predecessor) for their relentless pursuit in pushing the brand forward into thought leadership.”

“The agency has gone from strength to strength and we thank Mary for her contribution to that growth. We’re sad to bid her farewell but wish her the very best in her new role,” said Sanjay Bhasin, Southeast Asia CEO of Y&R.

Buenaventura is also a panel officer of the Advertising Standards Council of the Philippines.

The agency said that it is currently seeking for her replacement.

Y&R Philippines won its first ever Cannes Lions for ‘Anti-Dengue Bottle’, a project for Maynilad Water Services in partnership with Department of Health (DOH) in 2013, which was also a collaborative effort with the creative team led by ECD Badong Abesamis.

The agency also posted 2014 as a record year with 80 percent growth in new business.