Unlimited Group has been forced to launch a search for a new group chief executive following the departure of Michael Richards, who has quit the business for a “new challenge”, nearly a year to the day since joining from VCCP.
It has been reported that Richards is seeking a move back to a more traditional agency model, having claimed that private equity ownership “wasn’t for me”. But it is a far cry from when he joined in April 2018, and called Unlimited Group “a gem”.
Richards started his career at Ogilvy in the mid-Eighties and then had spells at Saatchi as well as Grey London before becoming chief executive at Tunbridge Wells agency WFCA, staying nine years.
He left WFCA in 2010, and spent five years as a consultant before launching his own environmental global water brand, Vivid Water in a Box.
Richards joined VCCP in 2016, where he held the role of international managing director, and also ran the eBay and Paddy Power accounts.
On joining Unlimited Group as group managing director, Richards said: “Unlimited Group is a gem, with some great agency brands. I’m very excited to be working with such an impressive team, being wingman to the existing management and looking forward to lots of collective success and fun delivering great outcomes for our clients as we bring our new proposition ‘The impact of Art and Science’ to life.”
Commenting about Richards’ departure, Unlimited president Tim Bonnet issued a curt response, saying: “Michael Richards joined the Unlimited Group 12 months ago to help drive new-business efforts across the group and has now made the decision to move on to a new challenge.
“A replacement will be announced shortly, as the group completes its third acquisition in 12 months, welcoming Direction Group Unlimited into the fold this month.”
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