Thank you Steady!
This week we heard the news that John Steedman (aka Steady), Chief Operating Officer at WPP, is retiring after 45 years in the marketing industry. I am sure every marketer will join me and the rest of the AANA in personally thanking him and wish him a long, happy & healthy retirement. Indeed this deserves a celebration because there are two amazing things about Steady’s announcement.
Firstly, here is an industry leader who has chosen when & how to go. Retiring on your own terms is a great way to move on. This is almost unheard of for our industry where most senior leaders are suddenly out of a job with many who are never heard of again. Secondly, a career spanning 45 years. What can you say? Unprecedented might be an over used word in this COVID world right now but I am sure 45 years is unheard of for an employee of the modern industry, certainly not in these times. The marketing industry has more than its fair share of short tenures & job casualties so when someone of Steady’s knowledge & experience leaves our industry, you wonder how it will be replaced and whether their successors can avoid re-inventing & rediscovering the things that Steady will take away with him? I hope not and I know he has mentored many smart people around him.
So a happy farewell to you Steady. I know many fellow marketers will share this sentiment. Over your tenure you have put a lot of good things into this industry and no doubt had a positive influence on the business outcome of many of Australia’s top brands. As a calm voice of reason, your influence & counsel has been significant and wise. And across 45 years? Well, that’s a hard act to follow. All the best.