Changing of the guard at Chime with Satterthwaite leaving CEO role
By Simon Ward
Chime Communications, the UK-based international sports, entertainment and communications group, has appointed a new leadership team after Chris Satterthwaite took the decision to step down as chief executive, after 15 years in the role.
Matt Vandrau and Adrian Coleman, presently chief executives of subsidiaries CSM, the dedicated sports and entertainment agency, and VCCP, the creative advertising agency, respectively, will take over as co-chief executives of Chime early next year, while retaining their current roles.
Other changes involve Stephanie Brinacombe, presently chief marketing officer of VCCP, being promoted to group managing director of Chime and Joanne Parker, the chief executive of Chime Specialist Group, which oversees a group of agencies covering financial services, technology and sustainability, being elevated to chief operating officer,
The 61-year-old Satterthwaite (pictured, above) took up his present role in 2003 since when Chime has evolved from a public relations specialist to a full-service operation with interests in creative advertising, sports and entertainment, healthcare and market research and 2,500 staff worldwide.
In 2015, he saw through the sale of Chime to Providence Equity Partners, the US private equity firm, in a deal that valued the company at £374 million (then $579 million).
Satterthwaite will remain involved at Chime as a non-executive director starting in March 2018.
He said today: “I’ve been CEO of Chime for over 15 years and during this time the company has developed into an international leader in sports, entertainment and communications. This is the right time for the next generation to take control and I have every confidence that both Adrian and Matthew will be strong leaders of the company, supported by Stephanie Brimacombe, Jo Parker and a highly talented overall management team.”
Vandrau (pictured, below) was appointed co-chief executive of CSM, alongside Jeff Shifrin, who oversees the US business, in February of this year, as the agency, which is chaired by Sebastian Coe, restructured as a united brand including sports marketing and sponsorship agencies Fast Track, Icon, iLUKA and JMI.
He was previously chief executive of Essentially, the UK sports sponsorship agency acquired by Chime in 2009.
In 2000, Vandrau, a former professional cricketer, and his brother Kevin founded Frontiers Group, an independent sports marketing agency, which was sold to Essentially in 2007.
CSM now comprises 1,000 staff in 25 offices worldwide with clients including prominent sponsors Diageo, HSBC, Jaguar Land Rover, Unilever and Vitality and federations such as Uefa, World Rugby and the US Tennis Association.
Through iLUKA, the specialist event agency, CSM is working with 12 sponsors on their preparations for the 2018 winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang and with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising agency responsible for appointing domestic sponsors for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Coleman, a long-time associate of Satterthwaite, was a co-founder of VCCP in 2002, and has been at Chime since the agency was acquired in 2005. His arm of the business employs over 1,000 people and its clients include O2, Canon, comparethemarket.com, EasyJet and Cadbury.
The new Chime management team will also comprise David Crowther, David Rowley, the chief executive of Open Health, Crispin Beale, the chief executive of CIE, Gareth Bowhill, the head of M&A, and Charles Vallance, the chairman of VCCP, as head of strategy.
Andrew Tisdale, the managing director of Providence, said: “Today’s announcement is about the next phase of continued growth for Chime and we are confident the combination of Adrian and Matthew, along with the other new members of the leadership team, have the vision and skills to deliver this. We are incredibly grateful to Chris for his leadership and have enjoyed working together to build the Group’s market leading position across sport, entertainment and communications.”