Today we are announcing that our longest standing team member, Alice Rose, is taking over from co-founder Rebecca Lewis Smith as Managing Director.
A New Era for Fountain
Alongside Alice in our new Agency Growth Team, Gareth Howells is taking on Head of Finance, Dave Starky is becoming Head of Operations and Rachel Murray is moving on to Head of Partnerships. We are also changing the focus of our Quality & Optimisation Leads: Ruth Barton and Danny Carter.
Having run Fountain since founding it 11 years ago, the four co-founding directors are excited about this new era for Fountain – but they are also keen to point out that this is not a huge shift from how Fountain has been operating recently.
Now former Managing Director, Rebecca Lewis Smith says: “This moment is a really important milestone on a gradual evolution for these roles. There is no massive change from last week to this, but it feels amazing to have reached this stage of the process and to formally be handing over the reins to the team.”
Introducing our new Agency Growth Team
Alice Rose has been a Fountain team member since 2012, when she joined as a junior SEO consultant. Alongside co-founder Laura Jennings, Alice was part of the very first PPC team, managing large Google accounts – she led the account for which we won our first Google award, which also involved working on our first ever Conversion Rate Optimisation audit.
Gareth Howells started at Fountain a few months after Alice and joined the newly formed PPC team. After two years, we said a sad goodbye as he left to pursue a career in accountancy – but four years later, having qualified as a Chartered Accountant and gained practice experience, we were delighted to welcome him back in 2018 as our Financial Controller.
Rachel Murray joined the PPC team in 2014 and quickly showed her skills in building relationships and selling our services. Her knowledge of how we run campaigns set her up brilliantly for a business development role, and in 2016 she became our Business Development Manager, playing a crucial part in our growth.
Dave Starky joined Fountain during a time of rapid growth in 2017 as our first dedicated project manager. He hit the ground running, managing the largest project we had ever worked on and, since then, has helped to shape the project management offering at Fountain, while also collaborating with the Alice and the directors on operational improvement projects.
New focus for our “QOLS”
The two Quality & Optimisation Leads at Fountain work closely with our technical PPC team to offer a second pair of eyes, quality assurance and support with trouble-shooting and creative optimisation.
Ruth Barton joined Fountain in 2013 as an SEO consultant, then moved to the PPC team. Her attention to detail and mastery of Google’s platforms, combined with her natural instinct to support team members, made her our archetypal “QOL” when we created the role in 2017.
Danny Carter joined Fountain at the start of 2017 at the beginning of a time of very rapid growth for the company. With a decade of experience under his belt, his knowledge of PPC was incredibly deep, as was his capacity to support colleagues with technical knowledge. In 2018 he made the jump from service delivery to QOL.
As of today, their job titles change to clarify their individual focuses. Ruth’s area will be Learning & Development across the technical roles in the agency. Danny’s will be Tech Stack, ensuring that we are using the most effective technology solutions for our clients.
Promoting from within
The decision to promote internally has been driven by a passionate commitment to our organisational culture. The people moving into these roles are not only familiar with how we work and what makes our company culture different, like so many of our Fountaineers, they have also played a vital part in shaping both of these aspects.
The four co-founders are remaining in the business, mentoring the Agency Growth team and making space to focus on their areas of passion. For Marcus Hemsley, that’s digital marketing strategy and full-funnel optimisation; for Rob Morley, that’s commercial opportunities beyond business development; for Laura Jennings, that’s the optimisation of our internal systems; and for Rebecca Lewis Smith, that’s our company culture.
A few quotes from former clients about Alice Rose’s trajectory
“I would like to congratulate Alice in becoming the Managing Director of Fountain Partnership. Having worked with her, initially as a client and now as a non-executive director, I have seen her develop into a true leader inside the business who not only has a wealth of technical knowledge but understands her client; a trait essential in making a success of her new role.
In appointing Alice as Managing Director the founders have made a wise and dynamic decision.”
“I always believe in the adage of hiring on attitude and not experience. People will always acquire experience, but you’re stuck with their attitude! Alice is a prime example of that. I heard her story about how she’d found Fountain and that it was her ‘dream job’ – but there were no jobs going. It didn’t stop her though. She wrote a letter and said when there is, she wanted to work for you and no-one else. Wow – I’d’ve hired her in a breath! Fountain were smart cookies and set her on.
Starting from the bottom, Alice was introduced to me as an Assistant – “Oh my god – I’ve been dumped with a rookie” was my initial thought. But what a rookie. Her passion, determination and eye for detail meant that she took us from a wannabee start-up to a PLC sale in 3 years. This roller coaster journey was underpinned by her management of our per pay click campaign, which helped us scoop countless marketing awards. Soon she was running teams and I told the owners that you need to make her a partner.
Hang on to your top talent is something that’s always served me well. And now she’s reached the top. I can’t believe it’s taken 5 years, to be honest. I predicted 6 🙂 ”
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