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Aardman changes MD after 43 years

UK animation studio Aardman, the firm behind stop-motion classic Wallace & Gromit, has named a new MD to replace David Sproxton, who is stepping down after 43 years at the helm.

Sean Clarke

Sean Clarke has been promoted to the position from his role as head of rights and brand development, which he has held for more than a decade.

Sproxton co-founded Bristol-based Aardman with creative director Peter Lord in 1976. As well as Wallace & Gromit, the studio is the home of classic kids’ characters Shaun the Sheep and Morph.

After stepping down as MD, Sproxton will continue working with the studio as a consultant and member of its trustee board.

Clarke, joined the company in 1998 as head of consumer products, after several years as UK licensing director for Disney Consumer Products.

“Sean has a deep understanding of the creative culture at Aardman – which will ensure continuity – in addition to a very strong, clear and exciting strategy to take the company forward, so it will certainly not be resting on its laurels. There are wonderful projects on the slate with new creative talent behind them and the future looks very bright,” said Sproxton.

Projects on Aardman’s slate include its latest Shaun the Sheep film, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, which is premiering in UK cinemas next month.

At the end of 2018 Lord and Sproxton transferred a 75% stake  in the business to its 140 employees. The pair retained the remaining 25% stake via parent group Aardman Holdings and said the move would help maintain the studio’s independence.


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