Looking to the future with new leadership

Posted in News on 1 April 2022
By Steve Kemp, Chief Executive Officer

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

I’m delighted to announce that Cameron Gunn and Victoria Sugg will succeed me as Emperor’s Co-CEOs, starting in 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 was 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 moved to our new London office in January of this year. These announcements feel 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.


News, Reporting

Emperor's first annual report

After 25 years as an independent agency, this report is an important milestone in improving our corporate and financial transparency. Not least, because in January 2020 we became an employee owned business and our annual report acts as a contract of trust between Emperor and our stakeholders.


Emperor celebrates 25 years in business

2021 marks 25 years since Steve Kemp and Noel O’Connor opened Emperor’s doors for business. Since then they steered Emperor to become one of the UK’s leading creative agencies, while growing a team of over 230 talented people.