LONDON — The executive chairman of British advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has resigned after suggesting women don’t want top jobs in the industry.

Parent company Publicis Groupe said Wednesday that Kevin Roberts will step down on Sept. 1. He had been due to retire in May 2017.

Roberts told Business Insider that he did not believe a lack of women in senior roles was a problem. He said many women don’t aspire to top management jobs because “their ambition is not a vertical ambition, it’s this intrinsic, circular ambition to be happy.”

Roberts was put on leave after the interview appeared last week. Publicis said “promoting gender equality starts at the top.”

Saatchi’s chief creative officer, Kate Stanners, told the BBC that Roberts’ remarks had upset “a huge amount of employees.”