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Derek Robson

Global design and innovation firm IDEO, best known for human-centred design and the application of the concept of design thinking, has announced that Derek Robson has been appointed as its new CEO, effective 5 January 2023. Robson began his career at Ogilvy & Mather in London and then moved to Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), where he held various positions, including chief executive. In 2006, Robson joined Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) as Managing Partner, where he was appointed Managing Director in 2017. Under his leadership, the agency has grown into an industry leader, winning several awards. “What attracted me to IDEO,” says Robson, “was not only the breadth of the company’s creativity, but also the scale of its ambition. It’s not just about doing great work with bold and forward-thinking clients, or design that aims for incremental improvements. IDEO has ambitions to bring about positive change with others and at the right scale, and who doesn’t want to change the world?”

Interim managing directors Paul Bennett and Tim Brown will serve as co-chairmen of the board. Bennett and Brown will continue in their current roles as Chief Creative Officer at IDEO and Vice Chair of kyu. “In Derek Robson,” explained Tim Brown, “we have seen a rare combination of leadership and experience that will lead IDEO into its next phase.” Paul Bennett added: “From the moment we met Derek Robson, we knew he was the kind of leader who understood how to build a culture where creativity could flourish to the maximum extent. This ability, coupled with humility and a determination to listen to others, is what great leaders need to demonstrate today.”

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