Ikon founder: I don’t want to talk about why we sacked Johns

Ikon LifeIkon’s new chairman Simon White has refused to discuss the departure of former national CEO Dan Johns and rejected speculation about the media agency’s practices involving online trading.

AdNews had suggested that the departure of national CEO Dan Johns and other senior staff such as Ellie Rogers and Leonie Kerley may have followed their pushing for greater transparency.

“(The allegations) are not true. We are absolutely transparent,” White – who co-founded the agency more than a decade ago before selling to STW – told Mumbrella.

“Ikon is transparent, our ultimate objective is to get the best possible cost per conversion for any sales for our clients. We are paid on performance to deliver clients results. It’s irrelevant.

“The real situation is not like what was reported. Dan is a great person and I would be happy to help him in the future if he wants to do something.”

White declined to explain how the new direction of Ikon would differ from what had occurred under the previous CEO. Instead White chose to focus on the appointment of Mindshare’s James Greet.

“There was only one person to me and that was James – his character, his ethics suit Ikon to a tee and we personally get on really well,” he said. “The reaction from the media, from the staff, from clients has been well beyond what I could even think of. I think people are pretty impressed with the choice we have made.”

“Senior media guys, senior clients have heard of him, they know what he is capable of and his capability is superb.”

The chairman of STW’s media holdings also addressed reports about the relationship between Ikon and sister agency Bohemia saying that he was happy to have the two firms operating separately. STW has a minority stake in Bohemia.

“My job as chairman is to align all stakeholder goals,” said White. “I believe it is better to have two hunters in the jungle – separate brands, separate propositions both out there in the industry.”

White refused to elaborate on the reasons for Johns and the other senior managers’ departure.

“We needed to have a new direction in this company that focuses more on what we do for a living which is how we sell our clients’ products,” said White.

When asked to clarify what this meant, White said that he had to go, and ended the interview.

Nic Christensen 


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