Chameleon’s founder, Helen Holland, has sold the PR firm she founded in 1998 to CEO Tom Berry and MD Tom Buttle.
Holland, who most recently served as chair of the company, will remain with Chameleon for six months in a consultancy role.
Together, the trio have overseen three years of record growth for the agency and a refocus of its business towards a broad mix of communications, consulting and content.
Both Berry and Buttle worked at FleishmanHillard before joining Chameleon in 2013. Berry also worked with Bite, while Buttle worked at Catalysis.
Berry said: “Chameleon is a great example of how the biggest brands don’t need the biggest agencies, just the biggest ideas. Our clients are fast-growing and market-defining, which, I guess, is marketing speak for really rather good. This approach – and the brilliant people we work with and for – has contributed to our last three years of double-digit, year-on-year growth and record client and employee satisfaction levels. I want to thank Helen for giving us the opportunity to carry on this great work under our ownership.”
Buttle added: “From the first day that I met Helen, it was clear life at Chameleon would be buzzy and exciting. It’s been that and then some. Today we’re delivering a wide range of services, working with disruptive brands and performing superbly as a business. So in terms of the decision to pursue the MBO – it just made sense. We can’t wait to get stuck into this next phase of the Chameleon story.”
Holland concluded: “The last three years have been some of the most enjoyable and also stimulating in Chameleon’s history. We haven’t just achieved exceptional growth – we’ve built a team and a service portfolio that we’re genuinely passionate about. It’s not often that the founder of a business can say that they’re handing the reins on to people who care as much as they do. But the Toms have already put their hearts and souls into Chameleon, and will continue to do so in this next era of the company’s success.”