Lord Tim Bell has resigned as chairman of Bell Pottinger, 30 years after he founded the agency. He plans to set up a strategic consultancy called Sans Frontières next year.
Bell, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, has decided he would like to step back from the day-to-day running of the business, according to a statement released by Bell Pottinger today (Thursday).
He has no plans to retire and, from next year, will provide advice to clients through a new business called Sans Frontières.
In 2012, Bell helped to buy Bell Pottinger branded agencies out of Chime Communications in a deal worth £26.5 million.
James Henderson, CEO of Bell Pottinger, said: “Tim has been the founder and driver of this business since he started it in 1987. We are grateful for all he has achieved for both the PR industry globally and in building Bell Pottinger into a household name.
“He does not intend to retire totally and next year will be setting up a strategic consultancy to be named Sans Frontières. He will always be the founder of this business and we will find ways of mutually working together with him in his new business where there are clients that need a combined expertise.”
Mark Smith, currently a non-executive director at Bell Pottinger, will become chairman with immediate effect.
Smith’s connection to Bell Pottinger goes back to the company’s foundation. He was both CFO and COO of Chime Plc, and played a major role in the flotation of Chime through a reverse takeover and its eventual sale to Providence Equity in 2015.