Purplefish Announces Transition to Employee Ownership

4th March 2024

Bristol-based communications and marketing firm Purplefish has become employee owned. Joanna Randall, who formed the award-winning business in 2012. has sold 100% of shares to the new trust.

The Living Wage business, located in Bristol’s creative business community at Paintworks, was awarded B Corporation certification two years ago and becomes the first PR agency in Bristol to make the transition to employee ownership.

As part of the transition, a new board has been appointed and Joanna Randall will remain an active executive board director of the business which sees associate director Lucy McKerron promoted to the role of managing director. They are joined by two employee trustee directors, senior account manager Jonathan Adams and account manager Zoë Fawcett.

Working across technology, property and leisure sectors across the South West, nationally and internationally, the business joins the ranks of a growing number of UK businesses making the move to employee ownership.

As an employee-owned business, the team will have greater input into the running of the business and its future, benefiting from a share of the profits.

The company is also celebrating a clutch of new client wins in recent months including experience business Yuup and agency collective firm Istoria.

The move is celebrated with a new website for the business which reflects the value of harnessing emerging and generative AI technologies while maintaining a human-centric approach to communications and marketing.

Commenting on the move, Randall said: “This is a really exciting time for the business. As a sole owner and shareholder it can often be an isolated role so I’m really looking forward to being part of the new management team in defining our future direction.

“I believe our traditional business structures are becoming outdated where companies are run for the sole benefit of owners and shareholders – employee ownership offers a more authentic way of running a business where commercial growth is still a focus but the benefits can be shared more equitably.”

New managing director Lucy McKerron said of her new role and the future direction for Purplefish: “I’m incredibly excited to be stepping into the role of Managing Director here a Purplefish, an agency I’ve come to know so well and love in the last two years since joining the team. The business is perfectly aligned with my personal values of integrity, creativity, and compassion, providing rewarding work for both myself and the wider team – something which will only be emphasised as we move into our EOT model.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to innovate as a business, both for our existing and new clients as we grow and evolve. We’re committed to leaning into the opportunities emerging technologies can bring while maintaining our human-centric approach to creativity, our connection to the issues that matter, while continuing to help our clients stand out and thrive.”


About Purplefish

Purplefish is a creative communications agency

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