LONDON--Speed Communications founders and co-heads Stephen Waddington and Steve Earl are to depart the firm, ending a 17-year association between the duo.

The duo are succeeded by Kate Bosomworth and Scott McLean, who become joint managing directors of the agency. Bosomworth previously headed KTB PR, which was acquired by Speed earlier this year; McLean arrived as deputy MD last year.

Waddington and Earl are leaving due to "separate decisions" to pursue "individual opportunities" according to a statement from Speed. It is understood that both will remain within the agency world.

Waddington and Earl first began working together in 1995, before founding Rainier PR in 1998. The firm was sold to Loewy in 2006, before the group's operations were merged in 2009 as Speed Communications.

The pair also authored Brand Anarchy earlier this year, a provocative examination of the changes in communciations and media consumption. There is no suggestion that the duo's split is acrimonious.

"It’ll be a bit strange not working with Stephen every day too, but we’ll be meeting for a pork pie and a veggie burger when diaries allow," said Earl in a blogpost published today.

"When the time comes I will shed a tear at parting company with Steve," added Waddington on his own blog. "It’s personal. We’ve worked together for almost 17 years at A Plus, Weber, Rainier PR and Speed, supporting each other through the highs and lows of agency, personal and family life."

"But, we both need to move on, do new stuff, and learn new things."

In other Speed changes, consumer tech head John Brown and B2B head Matina Macintyre have been appointed to the board of Speed, joining technology head Ruth Jones and Nicola Harrison, head of Speed’s ventures practice.

Last year, Loewy Group was acquired by Writtle Holdings, creating a combined group of 18 companies with revenues of around £100million.

“I am really looking forward to working closely with Kate, Scott and the team at Speed," said Speed chairman Will Whitehorn. "Kate and Scott have superb track records of committed and inspiring leadership, growing great businesses and delivering exceptional PR campaigns. Building this agency into a Top 20 UK PR agency is firmly within our grasp.”