Aardman has announced that Sean Clarke will take over from David Sproxton after 43 years as MD.
Clarke has been at the company for over 20 years, heading up the international rights and marketing department for over a decade.
He joined Aardman as head of consumer products in 1998 and was instrumental in developing the company’s rights team, which now includes 30 people and works across 170 territories worldwide; the launch of the studio’s YouTube channels, which currently exceed 1.2 billion views annually; and the studio diversifying into new areas of immersive storytelling, including its first Shaun the Sheep Land which opened in Sweden in 2015.
Sproxton, Aardman’s co-founder, said: “We were determined to find the best possible candidate for the role, which is critical for securing the studio’s future especially in its employee-owned incarnation. I am delighted that Sean cut through very strong competition to take my place.”
Clarke added: “It’s an honour to be taking on the MD role and a privilege to be leading Aardman in this exciting new era of employee ownership. The studio’s strength has always been in its visionary creativity and storytelling expertise which, combined, mean that we are able to adapt to new platforms and changes in the way we consume entertainment whilst delivering consistently inspiring, funny and engaging animation.”