Steve Aldridge is finally stepping down from his role at Engine and Partners Andrews Aldridge – 18 years after setting up the agency with Phil Andrews – to launch a new venture.
His decision had been on the cards since January, when Partners recruited executive creative director Aaron Goldring to run the creative department, effectively succeeding Aldridge, who has been doing the job ever since the agency launched in 1998.
Aldridge started his career at Wunderman (then Wunderman Cato Johnson) in the late Eighties, spending nearly a decade at the agency before joining forces with Phil Andrews as well as new business head Nina Jasinski to launch Partners. The agency was eventually sold to Engine in 2008, netting the duo in excess of £5m each.
Andrews quit Engine in 2011 and now holds a number of advisory roles.
Partners has been one of the great success stories of the direct marketing agency world, reinforced by the fact that it is one of the few which has retained its original name.
Unlike many of his peers, Aldridge remained long after his Engine earn-out. And, rather than put his feet up, he has taken on a much wider role; since January 2010, Aldridge has been ECD of Engine Group, as well as chairman and creative partner of Partners.
Debbie Klein, chief executive of Engine Europe and Asia Pacific, said: “We are sad to see Steve leave the Engine family and are grateful for all of his hard work and dedication to the team over the years.
“He leaves Partners in a stronger position than ever and we look forward to Aaron building on this legacy and taking the creative department in new and exciting directions.”
Aldridge will serve a year’s gardening leave when he departs the agency on June 16, although with a car collection which is said to rival the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, he is unlikely to be seen tending his dahlias any time soon.
He has not yet revealed what new venture he is planning, although as far back as 1997 – when he quit Wunderman – Aldridge said: “I don’t see myself working at another direct marketing agency.”
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