Derek Ross died recently. He was 47 and to him I owe a lot. It was Derek who hired Banner McBride and became one of our largest clients many years ago when he was at Airbus. He shared openly and honestly his views as a friend and a client, and I valued hugely his candour and wit.
He stayed true to his journalistic origins – he knew how to cut to the chase and he did not tolerate waffle and management speak.
12 years ago when I left WPP to set up on my own I can still remember Derek phoning me about one month later and thereby ending that gnawing anxiety about where the first work would come from.
We stayed in touch over the years as his career progressed to GE, then Vodafone and eventually his own business. His death has come as a shock and I will miss him.
He always used to say to me to focus on what was important and yet again he has sent me that message.
My sincere condolences to his family and friends and colleagues; we will all miss him.