Elmwood appoints former global agency boss as new chairman as it gears up for 'Elmwood 3.0'

Jonathan Sands and Steve Gatfield

Elmwood has confirmed that Steve Gatfield is to succeed Jonathan Sands as group chairman of the global brand design consultancy.

Based in New York, Gatfield has held a non-executive role at Elmwood since 2013 and brings experience in marcoms holding company environment with previous roles including executive vice president for strategy and innovation at IPG, chief executive officer of Lowe & Partners Worldwide and chief operating officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Majority shareholder Sands, who has held the title of chairman for almost 20 years, said he was “delighted” that Gatfield had accepted the role.

“After hitting 55 last year and already having been at Elmwood for 34 years, I’ve started to think about ‘Elmwood 3.0’. I love this business and plan to stay around for a few good years; but I want the next management team to be set up for success,” explained Sands. “To do that we have the embrace the changes we’re seeing in our industry.

“When I started out, the industry was box-shaped. Clients would shop for a design consultancy, a PR consultancy and an ad agency – their needs were simple and one dimensional. That is no longer the case…Steve’s wealth of experiences in working in emerging media technologies with a host of digital enterprises, from big data to gaming, is vital to Elmwood’s next generation as curators of brand experiences.”

Once a business with a single Leeds-based studio, Elmwood has grown into a global consultancy with studios in London, New York, Singapore and Melbourne.

Sands’ role now will become more focused on internal mentorship, as well as being one of the public faces of the brand, adopting the title of ‘vexillifer’.

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