Riot founder Hooson leaves to start charity

Riot founder Hooson leaves to start charity

Anwen Hooson, co-founder and co-managing director of PR agency Riot Communications, is leaving the company to launch a performing arts charity. 

Hooson, a music graduate and trained classical pianist, jointly founded Riot Communications with Preena Gadher in January 2009 and has built a strong clientbase of culture and entertainment brands. Prior to co-founding Riot Communications, she worked at Penguin and at Waterstones.

Hoosen said the time is right to pursue her "longstanding ambition", taking into account the "savage" cuts to arts programmes.

“Launching and building Riot with my beloved partner-in-crime Preena has been an exhilarating and rewarding adventure and I look at what we have created with an enormous sense of pride," she said. "But it’s been a longstanding ambition of mine to start a performing arts charity that reaches out to young people. With increasingly savage cuts taking place to arts programmes in schools and communities, and with Riot in such great shape, it feels like the right time to embark on making that ambition a reality”.

Gadher said: “Starting a business with your best friend is what loads of people dream of doing. Anwen and I realised that dream, and I feel very privileged to have been part of a duo that proves how kick-ass women in business can be. I will miss Anwen, but I know she will achieve amazing things with her charity, which I have always known to be her calling."

Gadher said she would now direct Riot on her own.

“I’m excited to lead Riot solo – we are continuing to grow, allowing us to share our passion for storytelling with even more people," she said. "I am humbled to be surrounded by a team of exceptionally talented individuals whose enthusiasm and energy for our clients is the reason we started the agency in the first place. For me, the dream continues as vividly as when two wide-eyed 20-somethings said over eight years ago ‘Let’s start a Riot!’”

Hooson added: “It’s been an absolute privilege, over my 14 years in publishing, to have worked with some of the most gifted authors in the world, not to mention a raft of brilliantly creative and inspiring colleagues. The publishing world is a special, powerful and vital place, and I will always remain a huge champion of our industry".

Hooson will depart from Riot Communications with immediate effect, and can be contacted on