Friday, December 08, 2006

Grey day

Say it ain't so: Ed Meyer, Grey's 'benign dictator', is off. I can hardly believe it.

We'd come to believe in this office that Ed would never go. We had many theories about the one nicked named "he who walks at night", which is surely the only explanation to account for his longevity.

He retires after 50 years in the industry and 36 running Grey, which is an incredible achievement.

According to Campaign, an official announcement on his departure is due before, Christmas, possibly one saying that he will only stay for another 20 years...or leave in April. People always seem to go in the spring.

Meyer will be 80 in January and is still in the office everyday, kind of like the Queen, but you know, different.

Who knows why he stayed so long. It was only recently that Meyer netted £105m from sale of WPP shares two days after the Grey the merger completed.

He must literally have pots of money lying around but has no time to spend it. I mean no time because he spends his entire life in the office. Clearly the rest of his time is devoted to walking those New York streets with a huge cape. Okay, he might not actually do that, but apparently you can't libel the living dead, so really that should be okay. Come on, it can't just be us who have come up with the theory that he is a member of the family that only walks at night.

It isn’t just the £105m swelling his back pocket, but the salary of $3.65m he picks up each year. This is on top of the $500m he picked up with the deal with WPP was first done.

Sir Martin Sorrell and Meyer have been said to not be the chummiest. You can maybe see why. Meyer makes the famous workaholic Sir Martin look, well, slightly less workaholic. Maybe they share tips about how to evade doing anything in life that does not relate to building a large, successful business.

The prince of darkness of the agency world as we also like to think of Ed is said to have ruled Grey with an iron authority and he only sold out at the last minute – being 78 when he signed the deal with Sorrell.

But this isn’t even the end of the Ed Meyer story. Despite "retiring", he has a clause in his contract entitling him to office accommodation, support staff and expenses for five years after his retirement.

So in five years time, expect to be reading again that Ed is leaving the building. Maybe even for good.


At 12:04 AM, Anonymous George Parker said...

As I said on AdScam at the time of WPP's purchase of Grey... The guy is 80 years old, he's richer than Croesus, and as far as I know, has no family... Do you think he would adopt me?

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic bu when are you going to update Demographic Shift / Gordon's breakfast? I have no idea whether any of the people you write about there read your blog, or the rather alarming timeshifts that have been revealed there recently are real, but I have begun to really worry about you recently.

I probably would not like you very much in real life (being rather jealous of people who are single) but somehow the blogsophere allows me a certain effortless charity that is more condescending than useful. However I read your blog as more a fucked up Barbara Cartland nightmare, and hope you find modern romance.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous The Online Pixie said...

Blimey! Was that last person on drugs? I do check the demographic shift from time to time and have to say it's not that bad...

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

I thought that as well and also kind of oh no I'm living in a a fucked up Barbara Cartland nightmare.

That's plain tragic.


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