One of the ad industry's most colourful characters is taking some time out.
Advertising executive Steve Kane has announced this week that he will depart from his role as managing director of independent ad agency True.
This brings an end to a five-year stint at the agency, which started when he joined from Y&R NZ in 2016.
Speaking to the Herald, Kane said the past 18 months had made him reflect on his career and what he wanted in 2022.
He added that the sudden loss of his father last year also put things into perspective.
Asked whether his departure was a product of the so-called "great resignation" that has seen many staffers leaving their jobs amid the pressures of Covid-19, Kane said that wasn't the case.
He said he was simply hoping to take some time out and focus on what he wanted to do next.
"While I always figured I'd leave 449 Richmond Rd in a box, I've decided that the time is right for me to take a decent break before deciding the next step in what is commonly referred to as the twilight of my career."
He also said he felt he was leaving the agency in good hands.
"True possesses an exceptional culture, brilliant people, genuine client partners and committed leadership, it's a unicorn.
"I am immensely privileged to have been part of the agency's journey and I thank my lucky stars that Matt, Peth and Conan invited me to join."
Kane's career trajectory has been unusual for the advertising industry, which generally sees staffers stay in either the creative, account management or PR lane.
Over the years he has dabbled in a bit of everything, showing a willingness to take on challenges well outside his comfort zone.
He started his career directing what he describes as New Zealand's worst television show (Melody Rules), before moving into creative roles in the ad industry. He would later work as a creative director at DDB Aotearoa NZ and TBWA NZ.
He also held senior PR roles for Mango in New Zealand and Hill & Knowlton in the UK.
His familiarity with the various challenges across the industry saw him eventually transition into management, taking on the role of managing director at Y&R NZ in 2014.
His performance there caught the eye of True chief executive Matt Dickinson, who convinced him to join the Kiwi independent agency.
"From day one in the building, Steve has been a force across the entire True business," Dickinson said.
"Early on, he was instrumental in us winning some large clients, and through his sharp wit and shocking Dad jokes always contributed immensely to the culture. Steve will be missed hugely but we are pleased that he's going to have the first proper break he's had in decades."
Kane held a 10 per cent stake in the agency during his tenure, but Companies Office records show his shareholding has been removed. The Herald understands his stake was sold back to the agency for an undisclosed sum.
True has gone through a period of significant change over the past few years, with Dickinson recently telling the Herald the agency had shifted its strategic focus and is comfortable having a smaller team than it may have had in the past.