The Design Council has appointed David Kester as chief executive. Kester, currently D&AD chief executive, takes up the position on 1 April 2003, succeeding Andrew Summers who has been chief executive for seven years.
Kester’s move comes at the start of a new phase of development at the Design Council, according to Design Council chairman Professor Sir Christopher Frayling. ‘Its mission statement is now not just to “inspire” the best use of design, but also to “enable” it,’ says Frayling.
‘What has happened at the Design Council is a microcosm of what [Kester] has achieved at D&AD – changing it from a trade association for the advertising and design industry to a more upbeat, outward-facing organisation,’ Frayling explains.
Making the appointment from within the creative community runs counter to the signals Design Council sources were sending out earlier this month, when it was mooted that several strong candidates with private sector business experience were close to the job.
Kester suggests one of his biggest challenges will be talking to a different audience, although he says he can’t specify what changes will be made until he joins.
‘The Design Council’s stakeholders are taxpayers. At D&AD, they are designers. I aim to be a loyal friend to both [communities],’ he says.
The D&AD is looking for a replacement and D&AD chairman Anthony Simonds-Gooding will ‘step forward in the weeks and months ahead’ to ensure the smooth running of the organisation, says Kester.
Kester was chosen from a shortlist of six by a selection panel chaired by Frayling.
The appointment was approved by the Department of Trade and Industry.