The industry is shaping up well with key appointments

Lynda Relph-Knight

Good things go in threes, they say, and recent weeks have seen three developments that could have a positive impact on design.

Last week’s news that Cheryl Giovannoni has succeeded Phil Duncan as president for Europe at Landor Associates, following Duncan’s move to Procter & Gamble as vice-president of design, could put a spin on Landor’s performance over the coming months. Duncan’s appointment is great for design in general, and Landor in particular, given its strong relationship with P&G. The more design folk we have on the client side the better.

Now we have Charlie Hoult taking a side step at Loewy group, the fast-growing independent conglomerate he co-founded with Bryan Wilsher in 2004 (see News, page 3). Hoult prides himself on having achieved ‘retirement’ at 40, but the reality is that as he is now freed from running the business day-to-day to focus on developing the vision for the group we could see more inspired acquisitions before long.

The hunt is on at Loewy for a chief executive who can run a bigger organisation, with the hugely capable Iain Johnston taking the reins for now. This move denotes a growing maturity in the business as it notches up a rung, setting a great example for other consultancies bent on growth.

Loewy could even challenge Imagination’s position as Top 100 chart-topper next year if the ambition for further growth shared by Hoult and Johnston are realised in time. There may be a credit crunch making financial backers wary, but the right deal will always attract the cash.

Last, but certainly not least, we have David Godber joining a newly strengthened management team at the Design Council (see Profile, page 13). Godber’s exemplary track record in design bodes well for the council – not least in its dealings with the design community – as it seeks to exert its influence in the public sector and abroad, as well as in the UK’s business heartland.

These are fascinating times for design. Downturn or not, the industry is shaping up nicely.

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