Full steam ahead: Ocean sets course with a new CEO at the helm

 

Group succession plan confirmed

Ocean Outdoor has announced that Stephen Joseph, Ocean’s COO and CFO, becomes the Group Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 January 2025. Stephen will succeed Tim Bleakley who will become Chairman of Ocean’s Board of Directors upon the transition as part of a long planned CEO succession process.

Stephen joined Ocean in 2009 and has helped guide the company’s development into the dynamic digital out of home (DOOH) leader it is today.

Tim, incoming Chairman, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the Ocean team over the last 14 years, and I am incredibly proud of the tremendous progress that Stephen, the team and I have achieved together, including becoming a world recognised brand with best in class technology and premium locations in key markets.

“As we enter the next stage of our journey, now is the right time for a transition of leadership. Stephen is a proven leader with deep experience in the outdoor advertising business and he is the right person to lead Ocean in the company’s next phase of growth. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Stephen and the Board to ensure a seamless transition and execute on our ambitious plans.”

Stephen said: “I am honoured to assume the Group CEO role of Ocean, a company that has been synonymous with innovation and challenging the status quo, creating award-winning moments and campaigns in iconic locations through the Art of Outdoor.

“Under Tim’s leadership, Ocean has grown and pushed boundaries across the media landscape. As we move into an exciting new chapter for Ocean, we will continue to evolve by drawing on the same ethos, creativity and culture that’s driven our success for so many years. I want to thank Tim for his outstanding leadership and friendship, and I look forward to continuing to work together in our new roles starting next year.”

Melissa Bethell, current Board Chair of Ocean, added: “On behalf of Atairos, Ocean’s majority owner, and the full Ocean Board, I would like to thank Tim for his leadership and many contributions to Ocean over his tenure. Tim oversaw Ocean’s transformation from a start-up of nine people into a creative force and DOOH leader across seven European countries, including most recently expanding into Germany, one of Europe’s largest media markets.”

Melissa concluded: “Tim has worked closely with the full Board to develop a thoughtful and robust succession plan, for which we are immensely grateful. Under Stephen’s leadership and with Tim’s continuing guidance as Board Chairman, we are confident that Ocean’s best days lie ahead.”

About Ocean Outdoor

A partner company of Atairos, an independent strategic investment company, Ocean Outdoor is the leading operator of digital out of home (DOOH) advertising across the UK, Northern and Continental Europe. The Group’s network of 4,000+ screens covers seven countries and 353 cities, with its technological capabilities delivering the most impactful and measurable DOOH brand and advertising experiences.

Ocean’s portfolio comprises of some of the most iconic locations including the Piccadilly Lights and the BFI IMAX and the company also works closely with high-profile landlords, including Landsec, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), the BFI, Nuveen and the Canary Wharf Group, as well as major city councils on the development of its network.

To date the Group’s growth has been driven by tender wins and the rollout of new locations, as well as acquisitions that complement the existing portfolio. Since 2018, Ocean has completed seven acquisitions which has enabled it to expand its UK footprint into the Netherlands and the Nordics. Ocean Outdoor Germany launched this year.