Leeds design group Elmwood has undergone a restructuring of its senior positions with the appointments of a new chairman and managing director, due to “rapid growth” of the business.
Jonathan Sands takes over from Ian Cochrane as chairman, but will remain active in the business and continue his external commitments with industry bodies. Former Wolff Olins project director Keith Kirby replaces Sands as managing director.
As well as running the 50-strong group, Kirby, who was originally appointed as Elmwood head of consulting last October, will lead some key accounts such as Halifax and Castrol while seeking new business.
“The group has grown rapidly in the past two to three years and 50 per cent of my time is spent on industry things which are not directly linked to Elmwood. Therefore we needed more blue-chip brains in the business,” explains Sands.
“Keith joined us a short time ago and already commands the respect of the whole organisation. He has grasped the intricacies of our business very quickly.
“The board is delighted that he has accepted the position of managing director.”
Kirby intends to build the group’s stature. “Elmwood is an ambitious business with a unique culture. My job is to build on what is there and make changes to shape the business for challenges in the new millennium,” he says.
One of Kirby’s first responsibilities as managing director is to carry out a review of systems and procedures within Elmwood, creating a smoother and more efficient running of the consultancy. This may ultimately lead to more jobs being created, though Sands adds: “We will await the outcome of Keith’s review before deciding on possible further appointments.”