Looking to the future with new leadership

Posted in News on 1 December 2021
By Steve Kemp, Chief Executive Officer

In our annual report, published at the beginning of the year, I wrote about my plans to step down as CEO. As we entered our 25th year, I thought the timing was right.

Today, I’m delighted to announce that Cameron Gunn and Victoria Sugg will succeed me as Emperor’s Co-CEOs, starting next June. In Vic and Cam – currently our Head of Digital, and Group Business Development Director respectively – we have two outstanding leaders with complementary skills and held in great respect by our partners. 

They live and breathe the values, have a track record in driving through initiatives that have transformed Emperor and will bring new ideas and energy to a business that is already in good health and with strong foundations. Supported by a talented senior team, I believe that they will form a formidable partnership.

2021 has been an exceptional year for Emperor; our first full one as an employee-owned business, and one where we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Performance has been materially ahead of expectations, despite the uncertain environment, and the quality of work has never been higher. We invested in new offices in Warwick and Manchester in 2021 and will move to our new London office in January 2022. This announcement feels like a meaningful way to cap it off.

The succession process has been rigorous with much of the focus on the structure of the role, our culture, ownership structure, growth aspirations and responsible business ethos. The Co-CEO model has also been thoroughly scrutinised. We will have a full transition over the coming months, ahead of that June 1st date.

It fills me with great pride to see the business we started 25 years ago go from strength to strength and grow into the brilliant agency we have today. From a personal perspective I’m proud to be stepping down at a time when Emperor is flourishing.

And it is stepping down but not stepping off! I will be remaining full time in the business, with a role around purposeful growth, client counsel and mentoring.

I look forward to the next chapter.

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