NEWS15 February 2012

Sampson out at ICM Group as chairman role is scrapped

People UK

UK— ICM Group chairman Justin Sampson has seen his role scrapped, with parent company Creston citing a cost-saving restructure as the reason for his departure.

Creston says it took action to reduce operating costs “in light of the lower than expected sales at ICM”. Its January interim management statement spoke of a good third quarter for the insight division but warned there would be a revenue decline for ICM in the final quarter of the year.

The company said at the time: “This is disappointing considering the improving performance of the insight division and the new client wins earlier in the year.” Indeed, less than a year ago, Creston CEO Don Elgie was hailing the senior management restructure at ICM, overseen by Sampson, as “successful”.

In the wake of Sampson’s departure, the ICM Group – which includes ICM Research, Fieldwork UK and ICM Direct – will be run by the ICM Board. This includes James Turner, Andrew Wiseman and Rupert Blackwell, all of whom were brought in by Sampson, and Jason Shaw and Steve Ogborn. Gareth Nicol, board director and MD of ICM Direct, recently left the firm and now works for MR outsourcing company Cross-Tab as associate vice president of European client services.

Keith Bates, managing director of Creston group company Marketing Sciences, is now sole head of the Creston Insight division, a job he previously shared with Sampson.

Sampson joined ICM in June 2010 to take over from company founder Nick Sparrow. The ensuing departures of other senior managers, including Patrick Diamond, Matthew Burn and Gary Muncaster, preceded – in Creston’s words – a “period of significant challenge”.

In an interview with Research a year into the job, Sampson said that the handover in management had caused sales to decline in the short term but that he felt the business was back on the right trajectory. He was also looking to expand its work into areas like healthcare – and the resulting business, Vitaris, launched at the tail end of 2011.

In a statement today, Creston said: “We would like to thank Justin Sampson for his contribution to the group during his time at ICM and wish him well for the future.”

Prior to ICM, Sampson was responsible for the post-merger integration programme arising from WPP’s £1bn takeover of TNS in October 2008, and before that, Sampson was UK managing director of TV audience measurement firm AGB Nielsen, director of customer relationship management at UK television network ITV Sales, and managing director of the Radio Advertising Bureau.



13 years ago

Well they know who to call

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13 years ago

Since his arrival at the company, there has been no progress. The main reason being that he employed his mates and gave them massive salaries. Most of the talented staff have either left or have been made redundant because of this mans poor leadership skills.

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