Iceland chief in shock exit over culture clash

Iceland marketing director Alan Shepherd quit the retailer suddenly last week after just six months in the post, without a job to go to.

Iceland marketing director Alan Shepherd quit the retailer suddenly

last week after just six months in the post, without a job to go to.

Shepherd resigned following a ’culture clash’ with Russell Ford,

Iceland’s managing director and former marketing chief. He said: ’It was

a question of style between myself and Russell. I am a different animal

to him and while we had thought working together would be complementary,

it didn’t work out.’

Sources close to the company said that Shepherd’s background as a

classically trained marketer was too different from Iceland’s

instinctive approach to marketing. ’For a traditional FMCG marketer to

come into the whirlwind environment of Iceland was always going to be

difficult,’ said one insider.

Iceland refused to comment on the reasons for Shepherd’s departure or on

his replacement. However, it is thought that the company is to look for

a new marketing director.

Shepherd’s departure, soon after he had returned from a business trip to

Australia, is believed to have come as a surprise to Iceland’s agencies,

HHCL & Partners and MediaCom TMB. He was only hired to the job last

November, following a year-long search for a marketing chief to replace

Russell Ford, who was promoted to managing director.

Earlier in 1999, Shepherd, 40, was ousted from his post as brand

communications director for Somerfield after a management


He had originally joined Somerfield subsidiary Kwik Save as brand

director after ten years in FMCG marketing for Kraft Jacobs Suchard and

Spiller’s Petfoods.

P Last week, the ASA upheld six complaints about claims made in an

Iceland leaflet on GM foods in 1998. (Marketing, May 11). Iceland, which

is challenging the ruling, said it was concerned that the complaint did

not come from the GM industry. But this week, the complainant, Professor

Anthony Trewavas, contacted Marketing to reveal his identity as a

biologist unconnected with any biotech company.

Letters, page 23.


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