powered by

Stephen Joseph Succeeds Tim Bleakley: Ocean Outdoor Appoints New Group CEO

European DooH network owner Ocean Outdoor announced a leadership change: Stephen Joseph, currently the COO and CFO, will become the Group CEO on January 1, 2025. He will succeed Tim Bleakley, who will become the Chairman of the Board. Ocean stated that this transition is part of a long-planned CEO succession process.

Stephen Joseph joined Ocean as CFO in 2009 and became COO in 2012. In this role, he was responsible for People, IT, Legal, Commercial, Landlord, and Investor Relations. After completing a series of mergers and acquisitions, he became Group CFO and COO in 2019.

Stephen Joseph, 43 years old, 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 iconic and award-winning moments and campaigns in iconic locations through the art of outdoor.”

Stephen Joseph is a Chartered Accountant who qualified at KPMG.

Ensuring Seamless Transition

Former CEO Tim Bleakley joined Ocean Outdoor in 2010, replacing Andrew Oldham. Together with Stephen Joseph, he oversaw three phases of private equity investment, three UK acquisitions, and four acquisitions in the Nordics and the Netherlands. Since 2022, Ocean Outdoor has been taken private, becoming a partner company of the investment firm Atairos. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Tim Bleakley will ensure a seamless transition.

“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 expertise in the outdoor advertising business, and he is the right person to lead Ocean in the company’s next phase of growth”, said Tim Bleakley.

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.”

Ocean’s latest step is a commitment to the German market, with offices opening under the leadership of former Ströer SVP Christopher Samsinger.