The CEO of YouGov is to transition into the role of non-executive chair.

Stephan Shakespeare co-founded the online research data and analytics technology group, which is headquartered and listed in London, with Nadhim Zahawi in 2000.

After current chair Roger Parry revealed his intention to retire, Shakespeare notified the company’s nomination committee of his desire to assume a more strategic leadership role away from day-to-day operational oversight.

“After an extensive assessment process, the board unanimously agreed that it is in the best interests of the company’s long-term stability for Stephan to take over the role of chair when Roger steps down. Consequently, Stephan has been appointed as YouGov’s non-executive chair designate,” a company statement read.

Shakespeare will assume the chair role upon a new CEO commencing in post, currently anticipated to be on 1st August 2023, the start of the next financial year.

The search for a new CEO has been launched, with a CEO designate expected to be confirmed in the spring of 2023.

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“It will be an honour to step into the role of chair and continue my journey with the company I co-founded in 2000,” said Shakespeare. “I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead the board and to provide continuity and stability to YouGov as we continue our evolution into a platform business under the leadership of the next CEO. 

“As I prepare to transition from my current role as CEO, I am immensely proud of the business we have built over the last 22 years and motivated for the journey ahead. I am confident that I will be handing over the reins with the group in its strongest ever position and a clear strategy to realising our vision of building the world’s leading market research platform. 

“In the meantime, I am fully engaged in my position as CEO and focussed on the current year.”

Parry added: “As CEO, Stephan has been an exceptional leader of the business and under his tenure as sole CEO since 2010 YouGov has grown top-line more than fivefold. 

“The board is cognisant of the potential challenges of a founder & CEO moving to chair and we have put in place protocols and resources to set the transition up for success. 

“I have full confidence in Stephan as the next chair and I look forward to supporting with the ongoing succession planning activities leading up to the planned handover.”

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