Grey London won’t seem the same without the steady hand of Roger
Edwards on its tiller. For 17 years he has plotted the company’s course
and, if its progress has never been spectacular, it’s because the
skipper knew he was guiding a tanker, not a powerboat.
Ironically, having profitably steered Grey between the rocks and the
hard places, that’s exactly where Edwards now finds himself.
On the one hand, through a combination of careful acquisition,
restructuring and growth, Edwards has virtually completed the job of
transforming Grey from a slumbering 80s nonentity into a profitable and
well-rounded communications group. On the other, having effectively made
himself redundant, he finds himself bumping against a network that seems
unwilling to offer him a more senior role on a bigger stage.
In fairness to Grey, it has to be said that its London chairman has been
well rewarded for his efforts and has long been living down a reputation
as a ruthless pursuer of wealth and power. Nevertheless, the fact that
Edwards now finds he has nowhere left to go within Grey points to
chairman Ed Meyer’s vice-like grip on the organisation and raises the
question of whether there will be sufficient quality management in place
by the time he releases it.