×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Aardman Founders to Transfer Ownership of ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio to Employees

The founders of animation studio Aardman are transferring the ownership of their multi-award-winning company to its employees. Peter Lord and David Sproxton said they are transferring ownership to staff to ensure that the company retains its independence. A majority of Aardman shares will be transferred to a trust. Senior management will remain in their positions and form an executive board.

Sproxton will stay on as managing director but look for a replacement and move into a consultancy role. Lord will stay on as creative director, focusing on film, including the upcoming “Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” and “Chicken Run 2.”

“We’re not quitting yet, but we are preparing for our future,” Lord and Sproxton said in a statement. “This approach, the creation of an employee trust, is the best solution we have found for keeping Aardman doing what it does best, keeping the teams in place and providing continuity for our highly creative culture. And of course, those that create value in the company will continue to benefit directly from the value they create.”

Four-time Oscar-winning director Nick Park will also retain an active role in the studio’s feature film and shorts productions. Along with Lord and Sproxton, he will serve on the executive board. The other members will be Carla Shelley,  Heather Wright, Kerry Lock, Paula Newport, Sarah Cox and Sean Clarke.

Lord and Sproxton said that “statistics show that employee-owned companies are significantly more successful than conventionally owned companies.” They added: “We are very excited by the prospect of seeing Aardman roll far into the future under this arrangement and can rest easy that those four decades which have slipped by have paved the way for many more years of great creativity.”

The pair founded Aardman in 1972. It has made seminal animated shorts, series and features including “Creature Comforts,” “Shaun the Sheep” and Wallace and Gromit movies “The Wrong Trousers,” “A Close Shave,” and “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”

More TV

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Agencies' Antitrust Suit Against Writers Guild Set for January Hearing

    The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a Jan. 17 hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on Sept. 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • GoliathSeason 3CR: Greg Lewis/Amazon Studios

    'Goliath’ Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed gritty legal drama “Goliath” for a fourth and final season. The series centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who seeks redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Mandalorian' TV show premiere,

    Jon Favreau Already Has a Star Picked for His 'Star Wars' Holiday Special

    The “Star Wars” franchise is no stranger to the strange and odd. But the wildest of all the offerings from the galaxy far, far away is the bizarre (but beautiful) “Star Wars Holiday Special.” And Jon Favreau is ready to resurrect it. The TV special celebrating the Wookiee holiday “Light Day” aired on CBS in [...]

  • Justin Marks FX

    'The Jungle Book' Writer Justin Marks Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions

    “Counterpart” creator and showrunner and “The Jungle Book” scribe Justin Marks has signed an overall deal to create new content for FX Productions. “Justin is a true creative talent and we feel fortunate to be his partners in supporting his vision of bold and ambitious storytelling,” said FX Entertainment original programming president Gina Balian. Marks, [...]

  • Tye Sheridan

    Tye Sheridan Starring in Survival Thriller 'Wireless' From Steven Soderbergh for Quibi

    Quibi has ordered another show with notable Hollywood talent attached: scripted series “Wireless” starring Tye Sheridan with Steven Soderbergh on board as executive producer. In the made-for-mobile-screens thriller, a smartphone has a central role. Sheridan (“Ready Player One,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) plays a self-obsessed college student who is stranded in the Colorado mountains after he crashes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content