James Connelly, founder and chief executive of Fetch, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has reportedly stepped down from his role to take a break from the industry.

The mobile agency, which was set up in 2009 and later sold DAN for £30 million in 2014 has evolved from a boutique London startup into one of the world’s leading mobile-first agencies, helping brands expand their digital footprint and directly engage with today’s active generation of connected consumers. In addition to his leadership as chief executive of the agency, Connelly was also appointed chief strategic development officer for DAN, heading up the UK M&A strategy and new market opportunities.

With 2019 marking ten years since Fetch started trading, Connelly said in a LinkedIn post that he enjoyed all the wonderful experiences over the years and saw this time as an opportunity to think about “what’s next”.

“To that effect, I have decided to step down from both Fetch and Dentsu Aegis Network, this will be my last week,” he added; “I’d like to thank everyone at Dentsu for supporting me, for welcoming us into the network and giving me the opportunity to work with many truly amazing people. Having spent the last 12 months working on the DAN corporate strategy, I can see how special Dentsu and DAN is.”

“Businesses that have a clear vision but also the capability to adapt will win in this period of change, putting both Fetch and Dentsu Aegis Network in a strong position.”

Connelly will be taking a “gap year” which he explained that he never “quite got around to”.

In a statement, DAN executive chairman, Nick Waters, said: “Not only has James integrated a brilliant agency into our network in Fetch, he has played a key role in the development of our corporate strategy for the years ahead. We will miss James’s energy and passion, but we respect his decision and wish him all the best for the future.”

James Connelly was featured in the PerformanceIN Top 50 Industry Players of 2018 for his work for Fetch and DAN as both he and his team continued to push the boundaries of mobile performance even further.