Ex-Dome boss quits Octagon after one year

Former Millennium Dome commercial director Kevin Johnson has quit Octagon Marketing after less than a year following a dispute over his future role.

Johnson was hired by the IPG-owned group as senior vice-president of business development at the end of June last year, reporting to Alasdair Ritchie, then president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

But the ensuing appointment of former Ogilvy & Mather chief executive Tom Berry to managing director above him, and other management changes – including Ritchie moving to the role of global boss – have forced him into a more sales-oriented role.

Berry says: “Octagon has evolved significantly as a result of recent mergers and acquisitions. Senior management roles have had to change accordingly. While Johnson and I have had significant differences of opinion, the split is amicable.”

Johnson is understood not to have another job to go to, but is likely to be on “gardening leave” for several months.

He was hired by the New Millennium Experience Company in 1997 and helped raise £144m worth of sponsorship for the Dome from the likes of Ford, British Airways and BT.

Before then, he worked for Alan Pascoe Associates, which was bought by Octagon, and Swiss sports marketing agency ISL Worldwide.

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