UK medialand has a new story to gossip about: Adam Crozier has been appointed the new chief executive of ITV. The company has taken eight months to fill the post. Chairman Archie Norman says the company has conducted a worldwide search, and taken up 15 references on its new appointment.
And yet eyebrows will be raised at this news. Mr Crozier made some bold moves at the English Football Association (his first major CEO post), challenging the old “blazers and ties” culture and relocating the organisation from its old Lancaster Gate HQ to fashionable Soho. His appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager was initially hailed as a masterstroke, especially after England defeated Germany 5:1 in September 2001.
But when he left the FA did not seem a very happy place, the organisation was subsequently torn apart by scandal, and there was a sense in which several important nettles had been left ungrasped.
A similar story could be told about his tenure at the Royal Mail. Yes, there have been some brave attempts at modernisation, and improvements in performance. But he leaves an organisation in some disarray, with horrible industrial relations, and an unattractive management culture.
If you were tempted to make a bet about ITV’s future, you would have to wonder how long Mr Crozier will manage to survive in what will be a very challenging position. No doubt he will be getting a very good salary in this new post. If he does not prove successful, public cynicism over top pay and the merry-go-round in CEO jobs will only increase.