Mahinder K. Khanna aka Mike Khanna, erstwhile CEO, HTA and Chairman Emeritus, JWT, passed away on Saturday night. Khanna spent over 38 years at J. Walter Thompson India, and was succeeded as CEO by Colvyn Harris when he exited from his role in 2004.
“Mike Khanna, known as the doyen of the advertising industry, steered HTA for 20 years, after he took over the reins from the legendary Subhas Ghoshal in 1984. Mike spent over 38 years with the agency before assuming the role of Chairman Emeritus in January 2004. Mike built HTA into not just the single largest agency in India but also one that was known to build some of the leading brands of the country. He played an active role in industry affairs, such as the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI),” said J. Walter Thompson India in a brief statement sent to the media.
Speaking on his passing away, Tarun Rai, CEO, J. Walter Thompson South Asia, said, "J. Walter Thompson owes so much to Mike. And many, like me, owe their careers to him. He was a legend in Indian advertising and a great leader and motivator. For decades he and HTA (and later JWT) were synonymous. His legacy is extraordinary. He will be missed." Tarun has worked very closely with Mike during his earlier tenure with JWT.