Client Challenge: Communicating a Key Management Change


A small, closely-held company with a market-leading position in the safety-critical software industry needed to announce the departure of its co-founder and CEO, who was joining an influential government agency. The company wanted to ensure that news of the executive departure would minimize disruption to the business and reassure all stakeholders that the company would remain well-positioned for continued growth with a strong executive leadership team.

This organization asked Creekside to develop a comprehensive communications plan with well-defined and well-timed deliverables.

Key Issues:

  • The company’s brand and reputation were closely aligned with the departing co-founder
  • Timing of the company’s external communications had to consider the timing and activities planned by the government agency

Top Priorities:

  • Reassure stakeholders that the company’s vision and position remained strong and ‘business as usual’ was continuing uninterrupted
  • Create clear, transparent communications tailored to stakeholders and channels
  • Use the announcement as a springboard to expand awareness of the company and issue follow-on news releases demonstrating momentum


  • Created a messaging platform aimed at summarizing the news and keeping all spokespeople on point
  • Prepared a press release announcing the CEO departure and expanded responsibilities for three senior leaders
  • Developed comprehensive internal Q&A and conducted review session with senior leadership team before notifying stakeholders


  • The news was well-received by employees, customers, and partners, with virtually no disruption to the business
  • The resulting two announcements (company and government agency) helped create both a consecutive wave of awareness and a subtle association of the company brand with the influential public-sector agency that the former executive was joining.



Interested in finding out more about how we work and what we deliver?

Check out other projects:
 Elevating Visibility for a High Technology Executive
 Championing Change at a Leading Health Care Company

Find out about our capabilities — our professional knowledge and expertise
Learn about how we work with clients
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 Meet our founder, Joann Johnston

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