Gordon Patterson has resigned his position of CEO of the Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) in South Africa. He will leave the company at the end of April 2014.
Patterson, a media agency veteran with years of experience, wants to explore new challenges and opportunities. “I wish SMG, it’s staff and stakeholders continued prosperity and all the best for the future,” Patterson said in a statement. “However, after many years within the company I think it’s the right time to explore new entrepreneurial ventures.”
Speaking to The Media Online, Patterson said he was privileged to have spent 14 years growing the SMG business in South Africa. “When I look at some of the ‘alumni’ who have come through the company, one can only be proud,” he said. “I’m sad, but that’s the way it goes and at the same time, I’m so excited. I know next year is going to be an amazing year for me, not question about it.”
Patterson said he couldn’t share his plans just yet as he is will still be under contract to SMG until April 2014.
Iain Jacob, president of SMG’s Dynamic Markets division, said Patterson’s contribution to the industry and to the Group’s business in South Africa was “immeasurable”. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him the best of luck in the future,” Jacob said.
Patterson is deeply involved with the media sector, and is deputy president of the Audit Bureau of Circulations as well as an active member of the Advertising Media Forum. He is a vocal commentator on the media industry, and is sought after for his insights and opinions. “I’ve written more than 300 articles,” he says. “I’m in the process of writing a book about media, learnings, how the sector has evolved. The funny thing as much as the media has changed, some things – the relevant things – stay the same. I think we spend too much time trying to be the next big thing that we forget the core principles of our business.”
Patterson said he is a “man of principle and beliefs”, and that he needed to work in a direction that was in keeping with those beliefs. “It’s time to move on,” he says.
In 2000, Patterson launched and was appointed managing director of SMG, South Africa. SMG said it would announce a new management structure within the coming weeks.
Story updated 2.10pm.