Sandy Speicher Named Incoming CEO

On April 4th, Tim Brown announced to employees that Sandy Speicher will become CEO of IDEO in August. Sandy is a beloved and respected leader and the news was met with great enthusiasm throughout IDEO’s nine global locations. Here is an abbreviated version of Tim’s note to employees.

Hello everyone,

I have some important and exciting news to share with you all. After having the privilege of leading IDEO as CEO for the last nineteen years, it is time for me to stand aside and invite someone else to take the reins.

Starting in August, Sandy Speicher will become the next CEO of IDEO.

As many of you already know, Sandy is ideally suited to take on this role. She is a supremely talented systems designer and led one of IDEO’s most iconic collaborations in recent years, the design of Innova Schools. Sandy founded and grew the Design for Learning studio and has stewarded some of our largest client relationships. Sandy already has a world-class reputation as an ambassador for design, and her style of leadership is one that brings out the best in others. I know you will all feel as excited as I am to have Sandy lead IDEO into the future.

As for me, I have no intention of leaving IDEO. I love this place too much! Instead, I will move to the role of Chair of IDEO and will focus on key relationships and key projects. I will also continue my work in helping to advance the dialog around the value and practice of design thinking. In addition, I will be taking up more responsibilities with kyu. As a member of the kyu council I will focus on exploring projects that unlock the potential of the collective.

Between now and August, Sandy plans to go on a listening tour. She wants to visit all of our offices and meet with as many of you as possible, along with clients and other important partners, as she prepares for the role. Like all good designers, her goal is to gather insights before she starts to share ideas.

Thank you all for making IDEO such an inspiring place to be. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Sandy, IDEO’s third CEO!


Sandy Speicher

IDEO was built on a set of values that have endured to this day, but have evolved with time. A culture of ‘making others successful’, a quest to be at the edge of design, being curious about people and their needs, bringing diverse perspectives together in order to innovate—these are all essential parts of IDEO’s future. As time evolves, so should our understanding of design, and of ourselves. How they evolve, well, that’s for all of us to determine together.

Sandy Speicher

Sandy will be focused internally for the next 5-6 months, so if you are interested in learning more about her, be sure to check out a few things she is passionate about: designing systems at scale, change within the justice system, and conversations that drive new solutions in education.

Tim Brown, Sandy Speicher, and David Kelley

Sandy has the proven leadership, values, and character to take IDEO to places we can't even imagine.

David Kelley, Founder

Apr 2019

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