John Steedman was inducted into the AdNews Advertising Hall of Fame in 2019.
The board director of WPP AUNZ and chairman WPP Media Services AUNZ started his career as a dispatch boy at McCann Erickson Sydney aged 16. He was promoted to media assistant, then media manager.
Steedman joined JWT, after a call from its then national media director Alan Robinson.
After varying roles at JWT Steedman was appointed CEO of Mindshare Asia Pacific and relocated to Hong Kong, helping set up 17 Mindshare offices in 12 markets around the Asia-Pacific.
He was then chairman and CEO of GroupM Asia Pacific in 2005, and chairman and CEO of GroupM Australia in 2008.
Steedman remained excited by the business by changing roles every five years.
“After five years I think you can become stale and repetitive in what you do. You've got to find new challenges and opportunities to keep that spark going. That's exactly what I did. Every five years, I changed my role. That's just kept me going,” he says.
“Again, I love working in teams with people, lots of people. I love the excitement that it brings. I love working with big clients and helping them with their communication plans. I think because of that, it's varied and you don't become bored.”