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Water Babies names new chief executive officer

Water Babies names new chief executive officer

Howard Harrison succeeds Steve Franks, who tragically passed away in April 2020

Baby swimming lessons specialist Water Babies has appointed experienced entrepreneur and business strategist Howard Harrison as its new chief executive officer. 

Howard succeeds Steve Franks, who tragically passed away in April 2020 due to complications related to contracting COVID-19.

Howard joins Water Babies after founding premium bags and accessories brand Knomo in 2004. He grew the business into a global operation before selling it in 2019.

Prior to starting Knomo, he began his career as a lawyer in South Africa and subsequently worked in finance for Credit Suisse First Boston in various positions in the UK, US and Switzerland. 

Following this, Howard joined Kimberly Clark as a corporate strategist for the Middle East and Africa markets. 

Paul Thompson, founder of Water Babies, says: “It’s with a warm heart that I welcome Howard into the Water Babies family. 

“While it has been a difficult time coping with the loss of Steve, we knew it was important that we find the right person to continue the remarkable Water Babies story. I believe we have found that person in Howard. 

“Not only is he a versatile and accomplished business strategist with a proven track record in developing and growing a brand, he also fully embodies the Water Babies spirit of passion, adventure, entrepreneurialism and a determination to make a difference in the world. 

“We’re very much looking forward to working with him and taking Water Babies to its next phase.”

Howard says: “When I moved on from Knomo, which had been my passion for 15 years, I knew my next challenge would have to be something special. 

“I’m absolutely delighted to begin working with Water Babies, a truly unique, purpose driven brand with a brilliant team of people united behind a vision where the physical and emotional development of every child is fully supported and nurtured from birth. 

“I hope I can continue the progress made under Steve’s leadership and look forward to working with Paul and the rest of the business.”

Water Babies teaches around 52,000 babies every week through a network of franchises across the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and China.

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