Management changes at Ikon: Joint MDs Emma Bolser and Linus Hjoberg set to depart

StopPress was informed this week that Group M executives have disestablished the joint managing director roles, currently occupied by Emma Bolser and Linus Hjoberg, at Ikon.

Bolser and Hjoberg were then asked for comment regarding the change but declined, instead recommending we speak to GroupM chief executive Mark Lollback and chief operating officer Chris Riley.  

Ikon, along with other WPP-owned agencies MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare and Maxus, came under the operational and financial structure of GroupM, following the company’s arrival in New Zealand in late 2014.  

When questioned, Lollback confirmed the shift at Ikon, acknowledging that the agency is undergoing a restructure.

“During the last few months we’ve been looking at all our agency operations across Australia and New Zealand,” Lollback says.   

“We’ve made a variety of changes that will enable us to better serve our clients for the long term. As part of this review of our agencies, we have decided to restructure the leadership team at Ikon Communications from two part-time managing directors to one full-time MD role.” 

Neither Bolser nor Hjoberg has applied for this newly created role, bringing an end to their respective stints at the company.

“We are disappointed neither Emma or Linus decided to take up the newly created full-time managing director role; however, a search is now underway to select a new leader who will continue to build on Ikon’s sustained success,” says Lollback. 

Bolser first joined Ikon as client service director in 2009 before moving into the general manager role in 2012 and then into the managing partner role in 2014. She then became joint managing director when Hjoberg joined the team from MediaCom Sweden in 2015.

“Emma and Linus have done an outstanding job of building a very successful business and we very much appreciate their commitment over the years,” Lollback says.

Group M did not provide any additional information regarding the change, but a source has revealed the announcement of the restructure came as surprise to the team at Ikon when it was made during “an uncomfortable meeting” on Tuesday.

The source says there was no indication given to anyone that the two roles would be disestablished and replaced by a new one.

While unrelated to the restructure, the source also revealed that Ikon head of trading Dale Cummings had recently resigned from the agency to take on a new role at APN Outdoor.     

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