Mike Cornwell takes top IDM job

The IDM has appointed former agency boss Mike Cornwell – best known for his role at TBWA GGT – as chief executive, succeeding Professor Derek Holder who passed away in February.
Cornwell was most recently chief executive of MRM but lost his job following the merger with Meteorite. He joins the industry educational body on November 5.
Cornwell grew up in Brighton and got his first job in marketing in 1981 at one of the city’s leading employers, American Express, where he became marketing manager for cards.
After three years he joined MCP, and then joined Mardev followed by Rapier’s ill-fated New York operation. In September 1994, he returned and joined O&M Direct (now OgilvyOne) where he stayed for 18 months.
But it was Cornwell’s next job – as managing director of GGT Direct – which would define his career. He spent over nine years at the agency in its different guises of GGT Direct/TBWA GGT and then Tequila.
He left in 2005 and held advanced talks with Mother about setting up a direct marketing agency. But the deal collapsed, leaving his fellow would-be co-founders Nick Moore and Richard Madden – who were both still working at Tequila at the time – with little option but to resign. Moore now works at Wunderman New York; Madden is at Kitcatt Nohr Digitas.
By March 2006 he was executive chairman of Soup, before joining Joshua G2 in July 2008. He took up the role at MRM in January 2009, staying for 2½ years.
Caroline Worboys, chair of the IDM Trust, said: “Mike brings a wealth of experience and a vision that perfectly complements that of the existing management team. Having launched businesses and led some of the most successful marketing agencies in the UK, Mike’s strong leadership skills and deep understanding of the core disciplines of direct, data and digital marketing make him a natural successor to Derek Holder, who shared the same passion for learning and vision for the future.”
The search for a new chief executive started in March following the passing of Professor Holder.
While acknowledging the IDM’s 25-year heritage of developing forward-looking, leading edge training and development for marketers and for Higher Education, Cornwell believes there are opportunities going forward.
He said: “I’m looking forward to leading the evolution of multi-channel learning that makes the IDM the only body approved to award digital qualifications, and therefore at the forefront of digital marketing training. Despite the difficult economic conditions the IDM has succeeded in growing its business and digital training revenues over the last two years – signalling that it continues to develop the best, most relevant training and qualifications that are effective across the industry. Indeed, more and more organisations are recognising the value of employee development no matter what the economic climate. The opportunities are immense – and extremely exciting.”

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