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So today is a sad day for me, because Jason White – my MD, and more importantly, my friend – leaves Wieden to become Mr Big at Beats By Dre.
It’s also a sad day for Wieden+Kennedy because not only has he been here for years – doing everything from managing the NIKE business during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, being the business lead for NIKE across the World and being the MD of this office for the past 3 years – he’s seriously amazing at what he does.
And given he no longer has a say in my annual review, the fact I still say that shows how good he is.
It’s a massive loss for the company, the office and for me personally.
He’s one of those infectious people … as soon as he walks in the door, the whole mood of the room improves.
He not only makes you better than you thought you could be, he makes you want to be better than you thought you could be.
He manages to inspire, collaborate and lead all at the same time.
If that’s not annoying enough, he’s also prettier than Julia Roberts in her prime.
I should hate him, but I can’t. That’s how good he is.
But in addition to him teaching me stuff I thought I was too old to learn … in addition to him being supportive of all my strange, emotional, petty-bastard ways … in addition to never telling me to change my bad dress sense, language or birkenstocks … he’s been an amazing friend, someone who gives a shit about how I am not just what I do for him and that – in some ways – is the most brilliant thing about him.
We’ve gone through quite a few adventures in the time we’ve worked together … adventures that are probably best kept to ourselves … but what I can honestly say, is that it’s been wonderful, hysterical and memorable and there’s not many people I could say that about.
To sign off, I will attempt to capture the time we’ve had together in some pictures and a video.
I’m not going to give an explanation of what they’re about – not because it’s not for/about you – but anyone that knows either me or him will be able to work it out.
It’s been an honour to work for you and with you Jason and I hope one day I can call you a colleague again and not just a dear friend.
Have fun. Cause mischief. Enjoy your last Founders Day. [Till you come back]
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