Higgins quits as Van Wagner chief

Michael Higgins has stepped down as chief executive of outdoor start-up Van Wagner following the US firm’s decision to ditch its acquisition and expansion plans.

Michael Higgins has stepped down as chief executive of outdoor

start-up Van Wagner following the US firm’s decision to ditch its

acquisition and expansion plans.



Higgins, the ex-More Group chief executive who was brought in to run the

UK office in September, will remain at the helm of Van Wagner, but as a

sales consultant.



Higgins had spoken of buying a big operator such as Maiden Outdoor or

venturing into billboards or ambient media.



However, the New York-based company now wants to focus solely on

developing the core business of one-off eye-catching sites in central

London locations.



’The job’s not big enough for me,’ said Higgins, who added that he had a

few of his own business ideas in mind.



At the same time Higgins will continue to handle sales for Van

Wagner.



He insisted he was ’committed’ to the role and that it was ’full steam

ahead’ for the UK office.



Higgins and his two members of staff; outdoor development director Alex

Brown, who joined from Maiden Outdoor, and former Mills & Allen general

manager Brian Coleman, have already secured two sites.They are a

96-sheet on West London’s Hogarth roundabout and a drape on the

Centrepoint building.



Van Wagner has no sales staff but Higgins may look at hiring a small

team when the company expands.



He said Van Wagner’s change of heart was nothing to do with a lack of

funds. ’The cash is there but it’s their money and Van Wagner wants to

invest it in a way that they are comfortable with.’



He commented on his change of title: ’There’s no need to have a

full-time chief executive as the job is not as big as it was. Alex and

Brian are still here and there has been more involvement from the States

but externally there will be no change, I’ll still look after sales.’



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