As anyone who is crazy enough to regularly read this blog will know, every so often I intersperse the world of digital media with some of my own personal experiences. Well today personal and professional collide as I contemplate for the first time in my career getting a one way ticket to the US and taking my family with me. Many people have done it before and many will do again but to me this is a big deal and one that brings equal quantities of nerves and excitement.
I am moving to the US, the Big Apple no less to help shape a new chapter for Audience On Demand with a focus on client relationships and delivery. The crucial relationships we hold with our large agency partners and their customers as well as our direct customers. I am retaining my management of EMEA at the same time. I leave that business in incredibly safe hands and the management team of Geoff, Danny, Jean Baptiste, Anke, Sara, Lothar and Cesar who I know will continue to work as always in a collaborative and market leading fashion.
The US market is a behemoth that I think us Europeans take some time to understand and just as Europe is often over simplified by Americans, I believe we have the same capacity in return. I stand in awe of the scale and complexity but the complexity I can handle, Europe with its multiple markets, currencies, characteristics, politics and all is hard to rival, you just need to spend time and effort getting to understand it all, and above all listen.
I join a great team in the US, my colleagues are a group of experts second to none and I know that we have a winning formula, I am excited to learn from all of them and I hope in return I will add value to the people who I will work alongside. I have read headlines recently about consistency of leadership and a teams that have been in it from the early days as regards other agency groups well we have that in spades. The people I am working with have in the main been together for 5 years and more with leaders such as Frank from the very start of VivaKi so we have a strong bench. We live in times where mobility and global capabilities and sensibilities are central. When I started my career we were all living and working in our own domains now we are a single connected globe with advertisers looking for global insights and a joined up approach. I am excited that my amazing European adventure has now expanded into a US one, it makes sense and to any global advertiser I hope will be additive having someone who can discuss their business across the globe and for that reason I am grateful to VivaKi for giving me this opportunity.
Interestingly, when you look at different organisations I am proud of what VivaKi has allowed me to do and I have to also comment on my wife’s company Unilever who have allowed her to move to the US with me, with out missing a beat, it was truly impressive to see how empowering an organisation can be when it makes these moves possible. Just in a few short months we have moved people from US to UK, UK to US (not including me), US to Singapore, and many more before that, this is the new world we inhabit, and it is exciting to be part of it.
Now perhaps the hardest part will be navigating New York streets on my motorbike, or getting used to a new culture but I can’t wait, from memory there are very few motorbikes in NY so you will spot me around Hudson street! This is not just a work move but an adventure, our four year old son does not get it yet, but he will and he will love it, I need to keep my eyes focused keenly on him to try and soak up his wide eyed wonder and not get blinded by work stress and strain, it is vital for us all to enjoy our time here. I fully intend to do that, and can’t wait to get my feet under the desk and get stuck in, so New York, here we come.