Does Adam Crozier deserve his £8.4m ITV pay?

Well it’s not bad for someone who started life as an ad rep on the Daily Telegraph and then found himself in the hot seat at Saatchi & Saatchi as Charles, Maurice and others departed for M&C Saatchi with, among other accounts, British Airways and Dixons.

There are two question really: does any boss of a PLC merit £8.4m and, if you accept they do, does Crozier deserve his award?

Unknown-5As to the first Crozier (left) might point out that Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP trousered £22m in share awards (plus a measly £1m in salary) last year – although WPP does make about twice ITV’s (adjusted) £581m. So his pay (about half is a share award so he actually earns more salary than SMS) may be seen as par for the course.

As to the specifics of ITV, Crozier joined from the Royal Mail in 2010 when ITV’s audience, revenues and profits were all flagging. He has invested in digital (although it still doesn’t account for that much of ITV’s take), greatly expanded the ITV Studios production arm under Kevin Lygo (a smart, if obvious, move) and ridden a wave of returning TV advertising while cutting overheads.

So hardly rocket science but ITV’s fortunes have improved markedly – during an extended downturn in the UK economy.

On top of that he has resisted the temptation to go for a game-changing deal either in the UK or overseas and shown himself to be a team player, which hasn’t always been the case with the gaggle of would-be tycoons who preceded him at ITV.

He has also shown that he’s learned from his mistakes; we rarely hear from him apart from results time, in contrast to one of his former roles at the Football Association where he enthused rather too gushingly about the hoped-for revolution in England’s fortunes under expensively-recruited Swedish Sven (it didn’t happen).

£8.4m still seems a lot of money and ITV, somewhere along the line will face testing challenges from digital rivals and, maybe, tech-based predators. In the content age it has lots of priceless content.

But Crozier has done a good job for ITV’s shareholders, employees and advertisers.

So what’s next for Crozier? Veteran broadcaster Peter Sissons suggested the other day that he might replace Lord Patten as head of the BBC Trust. Lord Crozier of Borough Market? Don’t do it Adam.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.