ITV boss Crozier's links to Asda
Crozier, ITV and Asda
New ITV boss Crozier might have Asda influence to thank for his new job.
Adam Crozier has an impressive CV: chief executive of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi aged just 30, boss of the English Football Association at 35, then on to the Royal Mail…
The Scot is perhaps best known for securing the first ever non-English manager of the England football team, Sven-Goran Eriksson, while at the FA.
But it is the aisles of power at supermarket giant Asda that might hold a clue to Crozier's latest high profile appointment, as chief executive of broadcaster ITV.
The Asda link comes from the fact Crozier's instalment at ITV was overseen by the broadcaster's new chairman, Archie Norman, who took up his post last month.
Norman, 55, was the chief executive and then chairman of Asda, turning around the supermarket giant’s fortunes during a nine-year stint, before its sale to Wal-Mart in 1999.
Norman, who later went on to become a Tory MP, was assisted and supported in his work at Asda by Allan Leighton, who joined the supermarket's management team as managing director in 1992.
He even used to wear a customary Asda staff badge saying: "Allan – happy to help".
In the Asda years, Norman and Leighton were not only seemingly formidable business partners, but also good friends.
Which is where Crozier comes in, because Leighton was the man who hired the Scot to work for Royal Mail.
Leighton boasted of his new chief executive at the time: "If Tony Blair had gone into business, he would have been Adam Crozier...a great moderniser and marketer".
It is rumoured Leighton, 56, thus recommended Crozier to his former colleague Norman, as a candidate to be the new ITV chief executive.
The deal was said to be provisionally done over a meal at a table near the back of Wild Honey, one of Mayfair's finest restaurants, but away from the obvious media glare.
Aside from Crozier, Leighton and Norman’s connections stretch far and wide.
As well as being a former Tory MP – with all the political contacts that brings with it – Norman is credited with bringing on a host of chief executives, and former executives including: Richard Baker, until recently head of Boots; Andy Hornby once of HBOS but now Boots; Justin King of Sainsbury; and Andy Bond of Asda.
Leighton's links are just as extensive, after selling Asda he declared he was going to go “plural”, this has manifested itself with work with BskyB boss Rupert Murdoch, Lastminute.com’s Martha Lane Fox, and British Home Stores’ Philip Green among others.
Both Leighton and Norman studied business at Harvard in the United States.
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Who are we talking about?
Royal Mail chairman, former Asda boss
Businessman and non-exec chairman of Royal Mail. Formerly CEO of Asda, Leighton started his career as a Lloyds Bank clerk and is the son of a Co-op manager.Connections: 26 (See map)
Chairman of ITV and former Conservative MP
Former Conservative MP or Tunbridge Wells, and made ITV Chairman in January 2010.Connections: 23 (See map)