AKQA founder Ahmed gets MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

AKQA founder Ahmed gets MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

Ajaz Ahmed - whose full name initials gave AKQA its name - has been named an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Ajaz Khowaj Quoram Ahmed (pictured) has received the gong for services to media.

He co-founded the agency in 1994, aged 21, with James Hilton. In 2001, it received a $71m (£53m today) investment from Accenture Technology Ventures and merged with three other companies: Citron Haligman Bedecarre, Magnet Interactive and The AdInc.

In 2012, WPP acquired a majority stake for $540m. Hilton left the company two years later, and joined design studio Native in 2016.

Campaign named AKQA Digital Agency of the Year in 2008 and 2011.

Ahmed said: "This incredible recognition is a testament to our talented team's focus on our founding values and innovative collaborations with clients. I'm truly humbled by the honour."

Elsewhere, Jo Malone, founder of her eponymous fragrance brand, becomes an MBE for services of the British economy and to UKTI’s "GREAT Britain" campaign.

Kanya King, founder of the Mobo Awards, becomes an OBE for services to music and culture.

Joanna Coles, the British-born, chief content officer of Hearst Magazines in New York, becomes an OBE.

Susan Owen, the permanent secretary at the department for digital, culture, media and sport, becomes a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath. As well as making a key contribution to the department’s digital agenda, she is the Civil Service’s LGBT Champion.

Alexander Henry Usborne, co-founder of 104 films, becomes an MBE for services to exports in media and promoting disability in film.

John McVay, chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, becomes an OBE for services to the media and creative industries.

Steven Elworthy, former director of events at the English Cricket Board, becomes an MBE for services to cricket. 

Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy
of Arts, is knighted for services to art, architecture and culture. 

Sally Elisabeth Tallant, director of the Liverpool Biennial, becomes an OBE for services to the arts.

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