D&AD announces layoffs and the resignation of CEO Patrick Burgoyne
The D&AD, the organization behind the industry's lauded D&AD Awards, announced today a “significant reduction” in staff, blaming revenues “dramatically” declining due to the pandemic. Amid the layoffs, D&AD CEO Patrick Burgoyne also “unselfishly volunteered to relinquish his role and step down,” the organization said.
D&AD said Dara Lynch, longtime chief operating officer, will lead the company “for the immediate future.”
Burgoyne was appointed CEO less than a year ago. He previously spent decades as an editor for industry magazine Creative Review in London.
Lynch will be supported by other members of the leadership team including President Kate Stanners, Deputy President Ben Terrett and the board of trustees. D&AD said Tim Lindsay “will also continue to play an active role as chairman.”
When asked how many employees will be affected by the layoffs, a D&AD spokesperson told Ad Age that the organization is beginning a staffing review this week that will involve a “consultation period” expected to “take at least a month.” The spokesperson said the staffing review must be completed before “the final outcome for redundancies across the business is determined,” and the total number of layoffs are carried out.
D&AD's statement on the matter:
D&AD is a charity devoted to stimulating, celebrating and enabling excellence in commercial creativity, serving the global creative community with our awards, festivals and learning programs.
Today we're announcing some important changes at D&AD. Like many thousands of other businesses around the world we have seen our revenues dramatically reduce during the pandemic. Businesses like ours, which are in part events companies, have been badly hit.
As a consequence we have had to develop a survival plan that enables us to do three things; first, continue to run the D&AD Awards to our usual high standard. Second, to continue to support the emerging cohort of creative talent as it seeks opportunities in the advertising and design industry, through the New Blood program. And third, rebuild our reserves so that we can reshape D&AD for a different, primarily digital, future.
A key part of that plan includes a significant reduction in our staff numbers; and this also means we have had to reconfigure our senior management team. Our CEO, Patrick Burgoyne, has unselfishly volunteered to relinquish his role and step down. We thank him for his service, first as a trustee and, since December 2019, as our CEO.
Dara Lynch, our long-serving COO, will lead the company, ably supported by the senior management team, President Kate Stanners, Deputy President Ben Terrett and our board of trustees. Tim Lindsay will also continue to play an active role as chairman.
The pandemic caused D&AD, like so many other businesses, to reimagine its annual awards for the virtual world. D&AD canceled its 2020 festival, originally slated for May 19-21, and moved judging online. Pencil winners will be announced on June 9, June 16 and Sept. 8 on D&AD's website.