The Player Adam Crozier, Joint Chief Executive, Saatchi & Saatchi: Big ideas are the simplest way to breed success

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The Independent Online
PERSONAL DETAILS: Aged 35. Lives in Teddington, Middlesex. Drives Toyota 4Runner. Pay undisclosed. Passionate about football. A knee injury at 16 scuppered his plans to be a professional footballer. He supports Celtic and is communications adviser to the World Cup 2006 campaign in the bid to make England the host country. His enthusiasm for golf has found an outlet in his work as a consultant for the English Golf Union.

CHALLENGE: "To create extraordinary ideas that can in some way transform our clients' reputation or brands," Mr Crozier says. "In doing that we can really drive our own business forward." As joint chief executive he sees his role as providing the right forum for creativity as well as running the company successfully as a business. In the past, marrying these two objectives has been a problem for Saatchi & Saatchi.

CORPORATE BACKGROUND: When the Saatchi brothers and other senior members of the management team left the agency in 1995, Mr Crozier became joint chief executive at the age of 30, with Tamara Ingram. He joined Saatchi & Saatchi 10 years ago and rose to be vice-chairman when he was 29. He says he never thought of leaving the company during the turbulent period that eventually led to the departure of Maurice and Charles Saatchi. "This is an amazing place with a lot of very loyal people. I can't imagine why anyone would want to work for any other agency."

Before Saatchi & Saatchi, he spent two years at The Daily Telegraph as marketing manager and group head of sales. After graduating from Heriot- Watt University in Edinburgh at the age of 20, he joined Mars as a management trainee.

STRATEGY: Given the highly competitive nature of the advertising market, Mr Crozier says that "simplicity and clarity" are very important in getting the client's message across to potential consumers. In an overcrowded market that is results-driven, he is keen on "big ideas that are hugely simple", which can also be used in campaigns across a variety of media. Adverts are viewed as just a small part of how companies communicate.

Saatchi & Saatchi views itself as a communications company, not just an advertising agency. According to Mr Crozier, some of its great campaigns include work for its two largest clients, Procter & Gamble and Toyota as well as the British Army, nurses and Carlsberg. The strategy is obviously working. At the time of the split, Saatchi & Saatchi slipped to number six. But in just four years it has risen to be the UK's second biggest agency, behind Abbot Mead Vickers. "The success in the last couple of years is phenomenal," says Mr Crozier. Profit before tax and exceptional items rose by 31 per cent to pounds 30.7m in 1998. Ongoing revenue rose by 6 per cent to pounds 363m.

MANAGEMENT STYLE: Mr Crozier believes organisations need to change constantly and a good manager understands how to manage this process. A youthful, unpretentious character, he describes himself as "very inclusive, very demanding and calm under pressure" and he adds: "I believe my job is to coach the best out of people." He tries to encourage people that making mistakes is OK, "as long as the same mistake is not made twice", he says. "Everything in the company is geared to getting great ideas out for clients."

MOST ADMIRES IN BUSINESS: Sir Brian Pitman, chairman of Lloyds TSB Group, who "runs a fantastic company". Mr Crozier is also a fan of Archie Norman, chairman of Asda. "What he took Asda through was superb," he says.

CITY VERDICT: West LB Panmure's media analysts recommend buying the shares, which they forecast could rise to 240p on fundamentals alone.