David Hornby is the new chairman of Hiro, an talent agency that connects sports figures and business leaders. The move means he now leaves his consultancy role at creative agency Smyle, although he is to retain his minority shareholding in the company.

Hornby said: “Hiro is creating an opportunity for businesses to motivate and inspire their teams and clients and I am excited to lead our passionate and driven team who are bringing something unique to the corporate event space.”

He had joined Smyle in 2009 with a remit to help the board deliver a five-year plan for growth.

Rick Stainton, Smyle Group MD, told Access‘ sister title CN: “It’s been a good strong, enjoyable five years with David, who was brought in to grow the team internally. We broke through the £11m turnover barrier in 2015 and bought a company (Pumphouse Productions).”

Stainton added that the parting of the ways meant a new “alignment of the stars”. Smyle, he said, needed a different approach. “It is time to look at different skill sets as we move to the next phase”.

Stainton paid tribute to Hornby’s input and said he was on the verge of appointing another support consultant and 3-4 new full members of staff.

“We are developing some significant relationships with publicly listed new clients and have strong business in the media, IT, Telco and financial sectors in particular,” Stainton added.

Hornby said of his time at Smyle: “It has been a real privilege to work with such an amazing team over the last five years. We developed a strong and clear vision for Smyle. Our team, partners and customers have helped us achieve this great success together.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rick, Matt, Dominic and Andrew along with all of the Smyle family for their enthusiasm and support during both the tough and great times we have shared together. But as with all things, there comes a time to move on. The events and live communications industry is changing rapidly and I look forward to the next opportunity and wish Smyle continued great success in the years to come.”