×

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

  • John Callahan

    John Callahan, 'All My Children' Soap Opera Star, Dies at 66

    John Callahan, a soap opera star on “All My Children,” died on Saturday morning after suffering a stroke at his Palm Springs, Calif., home on Friday. He was 66. “Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated–my great friend, co-parent partner, and loving father to Kaya,” [...]

  • Cardi B Joe Exotic

    Cardi B Pledges to Start a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic From Netflix's 'Tiger King'

    Cardi B, like most people in the world, is hooked on Netflix’s “Tiger King.” Over the past couple of days, Cardi has been tweeting about the new docu-series, which follows the bizarre story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner with hundreds of exotic animals who ends up in jail for hiring a hitman to [...]

  • Victorious

    Ariana Grande and the 'Victorious' Cast Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary on Zoom

    Nickelodeon fans’ dreams came true when the cast of “Victorious” reunited to celebrate the show’s debut 10 years ago. Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice and their co-stars were supposed to get together in person to commemorate the anniversary, but due to the shelter-in-place rules around the country, the cast all hopped on a Zoom call. Grande [...]

  • Tiger King

    'Tiger King': Where Everyone in the Series Is Now

    (Warning: Spoilers ahead. Do not watch if you haven’t seen all seven episodes of Netflix’s “Tiger King.”) Like a stealthy tiger padding through the jungle, no one saw Netflix’s “Tiger King” coming until it was too late to un-see the questionable conditions the animals were kept in, and the questionable taste in tattoos of nearly [...]

  • Jameela Jamil attends the NBC and

    Jameela Jamil Admits She Could Have Picked a Better Time to Come Out as Queer

    Jameela Jamil isn’t interested in being perfect.  “Sometimes, I do f— up, but I always apologize when I’ve gotten it wrong,” she told said in a candid interview on “Variety Live,” which streams via Variety’s Instagram account. “I learn, and other people learn with me.”  And she definitely isn’t afraid to back down from a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content