RIBA Royal Gold Medal–winning Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye has announced a “fundamental change” in how his eponymous firm operates with the naming of three CEOs who will oversee each of Adaye Associates’ three studios in newly established sole executive leadership roles. Pascale Sablan will serve as CEO of Adjaye Associates’ New York studio while Lucy Tilley and Kofi Bio will run the London and Accra studios, respectively. All three of the firm’s newly named CEOs previously held associate principal titles. As for Adjaye, he will assume the role of executive chair and, per a statement release by the firm, continue to lead overall design direction as principal. 

“Over the last six months I have been taking professional advice on how to best reflect the firm’s considerable evolution over the last five years,” said Adjaye in a statement. “Whilst I will continue to lead the design direction of my firm, it is now the right time to devolve the management of the studios. Kofi, Lucy, and Pascale are exceptional leaders whose diverse perspectives and capabilities will give us the platform to succeed in the next chapter.”

The launch of this “next chapter” comes less than a year after the acclaimed—and incredibly busy—firm was rocked by scandal. In July, the Financial Times published a bombshell investigative report in which three women, all employed in various capacities by Adjaye Associates, leveled serious accusations of sexual misconduct against Adjaye that allegedly occurred in 2018 and 2019 at the London and Accra studios. Adjaye strongly denied the specific allegations brought forth by the women.

The fallout from the allegations was swift and severe, with Adjaye being fired from or stepping away from numerous high-profile global commissions including the Perry Center for Native American Art at Vermont’s Shelburne Museum, a new campus for the Africa Institute in Sharjah, and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, where Adjaye Associates has since been replaced with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. In New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem distanced itself from Adjaye while work on the museum’s highly anticipated new home continued apace. Adjaye said in a statement at the time that his personal departure from the Studio Museum came with the “heaviest heart.”

Adjaye has kept a low profile in the wake of the allegations, although he was seen late last year around town during Miami Design Week.

The leadership shift at Adjaye Associates differs from that of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, now Meier Partners, which rebranded and announced a major internal reorganization plan in June 2021—three years after its Pritzker Prize–winning founder, Richard Meier, was accused of sexual harassment by several women, some of them former employees. Meier, now 89, also announced his formal retirement in June 2021 as part of the larger firm reshuffling.