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Exclusive: Leeds agency CEO steps down after 18 years


Gareth Healey has stepped down as CEO of Leeds agency CreativeRace to pursue new opportunities after 18 years with the company.

The agency’s holding company has purchased Healey’s entire shareholding – listed on Companies House as 42.49% – and chairman Gordon Bethell will now be the agency’s sole leader of its teams in Leeds and London.

Healey joined CreativeRace – then known as Gratterpalm – in 1999 and was part of the MBO team that bought the agency three years later.

Gareth Healey

Alongside business partner Bethell, he has helped to build the business into one of the largest regional agencies in the UK, with 143 staff and turnover standing at £11.5m in 2015.

It works with clients including ASDA, DFS, Greggs, Ladbrokes Coral, Evans Cycles and Intercontinental Hotel Group, and was last year ranked seventh in Prolific North’s Top 50 Integrated Agencies.

Healey said: “After 15 years at the helm of this fantastic agency I’ve decided that its time for a change. CreativeRace has a strong management team eager for more responsibility. I think the time is right for me to sample new experiences and leave Gordon and the team to write the next chapter for the agency.”

CreativeRace chairman, Gordon Bethell, added: “Whilst we‘ll miss him very much, everyone at the agency respects Gareth’s decision. It’s been a privilege to work with him for the past 18 years, as a colleague and a friend, and I’m sure that he will be successful in his new endeavours.

“I’m looking forward to leading the management teams of both Leeds and London into the next stage of the agency’s development.”

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