‘We all have mental health, it’s on a continuum’: MediaCom CEO Josh Krichefski on trying to change the stigma

The CEO tells Andy Martin how mental health should be at the forefront of company thinking on employee productivity

Andy Martin@andymartinink
Friday 14 June 2019 17:02
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Josh Krichefski was torn between anthropology and advertising. In the end he decided not to become an anthropologist because he thought he would be “skint and lonely”. And advertising was cool. But he still has the air of a rogue anthropologist among Mad Men as CEO at MediaCom UK. “It’s all about not being ethnocentric”, says Krichefski. “Or egocentric. Trying to understand the other’s point of view.”

His first idea, aged 10, was to become a fireman. Later, “I would have loved to have been an actor”, but his older brother got there first, starring as the moody “ology boy” in a Maureen Lipman ad for BT. But he says he has a special gift as a public speaker. “I have an ability to show my faults on stage without embarrassment. That resonates with people.”

After graduating with a degree in social anthropology from Sussex University, working for a number of different agencies and setting up a company of his own, he joined MediaCom in 2014, rated the number one media agency in the UK. They devised the “Time to talk” campaign for Mind, the mental health charity. At 43, Krichefski is open and plain-speaking about his own mental health issues. He is subject to anxiety and insomnia, and not only because he is a self-professed “long-suffering Arsenal fan”.

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