RSPCA's most senior staffer John Grounds quits suddenly

Grounds (pictured), the charity's director of marketing and campaigns and deputy chief executive, leaves six weeks after the departure of former head Gavin Grant

John Grounds
John Grounds

The most senior member of the RSPCA’s leadership team has stepped down with immediate effect less than six weeks after the sudden departure of the charity’s chief executive.

John Grounds, director of marketing and campaigns and deputy chief executive, left the charity last week. Gavin Grant, the chief executive, left on health grounds in late February.

At the time, the charity’s chair, Mike Tomlinson, said it was still "business as usual" at the charity. "I would like to assure everyone that our day to day work for animals continues as usual," he said. "John Grounds will continue to represent the society externally and cover the society's public commitments as appropriate."

An internal memo to staff from the trustees last week said they regretted Ground’s sudden departure and detailed his achievements.

"I am sorry to inform you that John Grounds has decided to step down from his role with immediate effect," the memo said. "John has represented the society and led his teams with great energy and integrity through a challenging period of rapid change during which he also led the society’s strategy review and built a more integrated approach to marketing, fundraising, campaigning and communications."

The memo also contained a direct message from Grounds to "friends and colleagues", in which he said: "I’m extremely proud to have worked with you all and to have seen the wonderful work of the society’s staff, volunteers and supporters at first hand. Your commitment to the welfare of animals is humbling. I wish you all the very best."

The trustees added that they were grateful for Grounds’ contribution to the charity and wished him well for the future.

Grounds has worked in the voluntary sector for most of his career, except for a stint at the Body Shop International. He joined the NSPCC in 2002 where he remained for seven years as the charity’s director of communications before joining the RSPCA in 2012.

A statement from the charity confirmed that Grounds was stepping down.

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