Elmwood chairman Jonathan Sands has confirmed that the brand design consultancy's creative director, Richard Scholey, will be moving to Manchester agency The Chase.
Scholey, who is based at Elmwood's Leeds office and has worked for the company for the last nine years, will make the switch to Manchester and design firm The Chase at the end of April.
"On an emotional level I am a little sad as a Richard is a tremendous talent," Sands said. "On a practical level it also provokes an opportunity to change and go again."
Sands told The Drum he has already started the search to find Scholey's successor but said he would not be looking for a "like for like" replacement to be based in Leeds.
"Richard has built a great team and as a tall tree falls in the forest it leaves room for other people to grow. We will therefore be giving internal candidates opportunities to take on new responsibilities as well as recruiting our first ever global creative director."
The global creative director, Sands said, could be based at any of Elmwood's offices - Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Melbourne, New York - meaning the agency can search for "world class talent wherever they may be".
"It will be a challenge to fill Richard's boots but herein lies the pragmatic opportunity that comes with that challenge, the opportunity to add new and different skills to the business to spice things up a bit," Sands said. "I have genuine affection for Richard and everything that he has done for Elmwood. He leaves a lasting legacy."
The move will see Scholey reunited with The Chase, and its co-founders Lionel Hatch and Ben Casey, having spent seven years at the agency from 1994-2001, before leaving for Elmwood.
"It would be easy to be disheartened by his departure but the truth is that I poached him from The Chase in the first place so Ben seducing him back is fair game," Sands said.