Academy Award-winning animation studio, Aardman, has announced that co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton have transferred the ownership of the company to its employees.
For over 40 years, the Bristol-based business has entertained the world with its stop-motion clay animation movies and television shows, most notably featuring Wallace & Gromit.
The co-founders made the decision in order to ensure that the business remained independent, thus keeping it as the independently creative company it has become known as.
The majority of the shares in the business will be transferred into a trust, that will hold them on behalf of the employees.
The plan for the business now is for the senior management to remain in their existing roles and for them to then form an executive board.
For the next 12 months, the company MD will remain as David Sproxton, however, he will be looking to appoint his replacement and then move into a consultancy role for Aardman. Peter Lord will remain in his role as creative director.
In a joint statement released by Lord and Sproxton, it read: “We’re not quitting yet, but we are preparing for our future. This approach, the creation of an employee trust, is the best solution we have found for keeping Aardman doing what it does best, keeping the teams in place and providing continuity for our highly creative culture. And of course, those that create value in the company will continue to benefit directly from the value they create.
“The statistics show that employee owned companies are significantly more successful than conventionally owned companies. So we are very excited by the prospect of seeing Aardman roll far into the future under this arrangement and can rest easy that those four decades which have slipped by have paved the way for many more years of great creativity.”