Mary Bekhait will become Group CEO of YMU on 1 January 2021, stepping up from her current role as UK CEO.
Neil Rodford, the current Group CEO, will step down on 31 December 2020 after exactly 20 years with the Group – and will now become Chairman of the newly-founded subsidiary YMU Ventures.
Looking to the next decade and beyond, Bekhait will lead the drive to augment the Group’s existing strengths. Discovering ever more diverse talent, and placing creativity at the heart of the business, will both be top of the agenda.
Investing alongside clients in the creation of valuable intellectual property is also a key Group objective and, at YMU Ventures, this will be Rodford’s main focus. Rodford will also continue to introduce, and help with, mergers & acquisitions.
Mary Bekhait said: “I am proud to step into this role, and to lead the group in the next stage of its development.
“The power of music, art and sport is transformative, and inspires the organisation. We are so fortunate to represent our exceptional clients, and working alongside such talented colleagues is a privilege. Together, we are unstoppable.
“As a client-first business, our aim is simple – to support and enable our clients to do their best work, and for that work to be appreciated far and wide. Every day, our highly creative, agile and entrepreneurial teams make that a reality.
“We will invest in growth areas such as digital, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer.
“Neil has been a guiding figure for the Group for 20 years, and it is a privilege to take on this role, particularly as our business is evolving so rapidly.
“I am also pleased that Neil will be staying on. I look forward to working with him on many more opportunities and projects.”
Neil Rodford said: “I want to thank everyone – colleagues, clients, investors and partners – who has helped create YMU during the last 20 years. And I’m very happy to continue with YMU in a new role.
“It is now time for a new generation of leaders to power the next phase of YMU’s growth. Mary is the right successor, and I’m proud to hand over to such a talented executive.”
Harvey Goldsmith, Chairman of the YMU Board said: “Mary Bekhait has the Board’s enthusiastic backing as she steps up to be Group CEO and drives the next stage of YMU’s development.
“Neil Rodford has been the driving force behind YMU’s transformation into the industry-leading powerhouse that it is today. Neil has our enormous thanks for all that he has achieved, and we look forward to working with him in his new role at YMU Ventures.”